So here at Barn Finds, we’re largely petrol-lovin’, tire-smokin’ enthusiasts that salivate over a good muscle car find. But we’re also a collection of folks who like the ocassional oddball, and to me, it doesn’t get much stranger than finding one of the many one-off cars converted into electric modes of transportation. This dirt-cheap $750 Geo Prism EV here on craigslist looks like it was built by legitimate company, and with only 4,843 miles, it could be just the thing for keeping miles off of your hotrod.
I did some digging, and it seems the future was bleak for the California-based U.S. Electricar company back in the mid-90s. Cashflow was non-existent and investors were pulling out left and right. Whether this was commentary on their build quality, business management skills or the overall hunger by consumers for electric vehicles requires further research, but based on this engine bay shot alone, the near-factory like installation is far better than most backyard conversions we’ve seen.
Personally, I have no reason to doubt the mileage, as I suspect this Geo didn’t get too far before it ran into mechanical issues. Such malfunctions only get worse when there’s zero factory support behind the vehicle, as I suspect you can’t just call up the Electricar help line or get serviced by your local GM dealer when the batteries go dead. The seller in this case doesn’t ever say that the car is running, and its storage on the back of a trailer doesn’t bode well for the likelihood of it being a runner.
Inside, it’s still the plain-jane Geo Prism interior – bargain basement seating and interior features, but also less stuff to break. The good news is once you figure out the running issues, everything else can likely be junkyard-sourced, and there are plenty of these lining the rows of the local u-pull-it. So what do our EV experts think: can this once-proud U.S. Electricar be brought back to life with parts from Radio Shack, or is doomed to be a footnote of electric car failures?