Needs Batteries: 1994 Geo Solectria Force EV

“Needs batteries”. How many times have we seen that in relation to a car like this unusual 1994 Geo Solectria Force EV? Many times, but it’s an interesting car it can be found here on eBay in Ludlow, Massachusetts. The seller has an unmet opening bid price of $1,500 listed.

These EV conversions certainly aren’t the most popular cars on Barn Finds, but my argument is that any real car guy or car gal should at the very least have a tiny amount of interest in anything that even resembles a vehicle and is powered by some sort of engine or motor. This car surely qualifies, even though it needs batteries… And, rust repair. And a passenger-side mirror.

That this car is in Massachusetts isn’t too surprising since Solectria Corporation, the company that converted these cars into EVs, was based in Wilmington, MA. Around 400 of them were made and there aren’t many still around due to the batteries wearing out and replacements being expensive – this one apparently used 19 batteries! – and/or the body of the cars rusting out. This one, unfortunately, has both of those issues. Roof and hood-mounted solar panels were a $2,980 option, believe it or not – $5,150 in 2019 bucks. Those solar panels gave a little added range over the usual 70-miles between charging. This was a $28,280 car in 1994! That’s a mouth-gaping $49,000 in 2019 dollars.

Hey, where’s the shifter?! Actually, the Solelectria had a forward/reverse push-button for moving out so there’s no gear shifter. This is the only interior photo other than this one showing what I’m guessing is part of the battery storage area, but it looks pretty good inside from what I can see. The seller talks about this car being solid as far as the chassis goes and says that there is no rot or rust in that regard, but they mention some rust on the body and it’s clearly visible, especially on a white car. A lot of these cars were purchased by public utility companies such as cities or power companies, etc.

There’s a lot of something going on under the hood, just general aging and some light corrosion from living in an area that gets snow. That climate has never been kind to any cars that I can think of. The cost of 19 batteries would be more than the opening bid price and then fixing the rust wouldn’t be cheap. If a person liked unusual EVs, and those folks are out there, this would be an interesting and head-turning ride for the nearest Cars and Coffee.

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Comments

  1. mallthus mallthus Member

    The notion that it “needs” a mirror and rust repair is off base. I mean, I’m not sure rust repair will make it last any longer and most cars didn’t have passenger side mirrors until the 90s.

    I think this thing should live out its days somewhere warm and dry like Colorado, where the rot won’t get worse, but the notion of getting it from Massachusetts to Colorado is challenging. A transporter would cost near what it’s worth and I can’t imagine the idea of driving 70 miles, charging for 8+ hours, then repeating would be good for anything but inducing PTSD or providing content for a book.

    2
  2. Dan

    Drive a rusty Geo Metro for 70 miles and then have to recharge? You couldn’t pay me to take this…thing.

    4
    • Don H

      What is this thing doing on this sight šŸ˜·

      3
      • fstedie

        sp: site

        1
      • Gray Wolf

        This should be “put in the barn”! Great chicken coup!

  3. rod444

    Ive been interested in electrics like the Solectria for as long as they’ve been made. But just today I drove a very nice used Fiat 500e with great looks, amazing acceleration and handling and of course, modern safety features and it was in the $6000 range so there’s no way I would touch this old dog. It’s good for a history piece.

    1
    • Steven Ligac

      Leave the old campigner die a Dignified Death…

  4. Scotty Gilbertson Scotty Gilbertson Staff

    Hey, you Solectria lovers, this baby is now listed with a $1,000 buy it now price!
    https://www.ebay.com/itm/133138293986?ViewItem=&vxp=mtr&item=133138293986

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