General Motors EV-1

Get details on AER's success with General Motors' Hughes Electronics Division as the designated remanufacturer for its EV-1 charging stations, a crucial piece of its test lease program.

The Client

General Motors was one of the first major American automakers to produce electric vehicles at any large scale. Its EV-1 vehicle was the 1st viable electric car, and set a speed record at Bonneville Salt Flats. The car was so fast, they had to put a speed governor on it for general use. In the early 2000s, GM released the EV-1 in a special lease-only program in Arizona and Nevada.

The Challenge

General Motors’ Hughes Electronics division came to AER with a challenge. It needed a designated remanufacturing partner for the EV-1 MagneCharge charging stations. Cost and location were driving factors, because the automaker’s electric vehicle lease program was only set to operate in California and Arizona, but the charge stations for those vehicles were made in Indianapolis. Shipping massive charging stations back and forth to Indiana proved to be prohibitive, and Hughes needed a company it could trust to service the machines and keep its drivers on the road. AER was already contracted with GM electronics manufacturer, Delco, for auto electronics remanufacturing, so contracting charger remanufacturing to AER was a strategic decision.

The Discovery


AER’s involvement as the designated remanufacturing partner for GM’s EV-1 charging stations began with logistics. The massive 2-ton testing unit had to be shipped from Indianapolis to AER’s Southern California headquarters, so repairs and service could happen efficiently for California and Arizona lessees in the test program.

During the course of the project, AER remanufactured approximately 1200 charging stations. 10% of the units were remanufactured more than once, and if the stations required a 3rd pass, they were scrapped for quality assurance.

After receiving direct training at GM’s Torrance, CA facility, AER’s lead technician handled everything from receiving the damaged units, logging them in, diagnostics, assembly & repair, maintaining inventory and preparing the units for shipment. For economic reasons, whole circuit boards were replaced in the units instead of component replacement, as this would have required additional equipment. Not to mention, component failures often inflicted damage to the boards, thereby warranting whole board replacement over remanufacturing. Component replacement was also a safety issue since the chargers were high in voltage.

Here are some interesting facts about the work performed:

  • Our team worked on an average of 3-5 units per day during the five year project, because testing of units could take an hour to return diagnostics.
  • Problem was the main circuit board, nearly the entire charger would have to be disassembled to access this board. AER handled this type of repair with ease.
  • Our lead technician also installed new charging cables for the units when damaged, and remanufactured the power input as well, since these were custom fit to utility power points and often shortened.
  • The lead technician even designed a cart to transport these units through our facility faster as they weighed about 80-90 Ibs each.

My experience with AER was very good. The work was excellent, and the people were always courteous and professional.

John McCallum

Head of EV-1 Support Program for GM
at Hughes Electric, Torrance, CA

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The Impact

General Motors identified a pressing need to sublet warranty automotive electronics repair to a partner with competencies in high quality electronics remanufacturing and large scale distribution.


The partnership lasted throughout the EV-1 test run


AER maintained $5 million in parts inventory for GM


Remanufactured 1200 charging stations during the project

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