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Ultra-Rare Factory 1997 Chevy S-10 EV Pops Up for Sale on Facebook

It ain't cheap, but it's still a fraction of the price of a new electric truck.
Chevrolet S-10 Electric
Facebook Marketplace

It’ll be a while yet before the United States sees an electric pickup the average American can afford. Even the cheapest Ford F-150 Lightning still runs you more than $50,000, and you can forget playthings like the Rivian R1T and Tesla Cybertruck. What we need is a truck like the 1997 Chevrolet S-10 Electric that’s for sale on Facebook Marketplace, for a price that makes it look like a steal by comparison.

The Chevy S-10 Electric was one of several early EVs that automakers rolled out in the 1990s. It got its drivetrain from GM’s EV1 program, meaning it was front-wheel drive rather than rear-drive, and detuned to 114 horsepower to account for its extra weight. That meant zero to 50 mph (yes, fifty) took 13.5 seconds, and that it topped out at only 71 mph.

Like modern EVs, it stowed its batteries in the floor, specifically in the rails of the truck’s ladder chassis. The standard battery was a 15 kilowatt-hour array of lead-acid batteries, but a 29-kWh nickel-metal-hydride pack was also available. They gave about 60 and 130 miles of range respectively, and charged using an inductive “Magne Charge” paddle that attached behind the license plate. (This charger was also shared with the original Toyota RAV4 EV.)

Just 492 S-10 Electrics were made, and they met the same fate as the EV1. Most were leased, so they were simply recalled and destroyed. A small number of EV1s escaped this fate though, as did an apparent 60 S-10 Electrics that a fleet customer had bought outright. One of those survivors, number 145, is the one currently for sale out of Peru, Indiana.

The truck was originally one of the lead-acid battery models, and the seller says the pack has been removed and confirmed to be dead. There’s apparently an aftermarket upgrade available that lets you switch to LFP batteries, which boosts range to more than 150 miles, but it appears to cost almost $12,000. That’s on top of the $15,000 the seller asks for the truck, which is missing its tailgate but still has its Magne Charge paddle.

Still, you’re looking at around $30,000 in for a little electric pickup that was actually designed as a work truck. We won’t be able to get another vehicle like that in the U.S. for a long time (if ever, the way things are going), so maybe it’s time to turn the clock back while you still can.

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