DIY Electric Car Forums banner
1 - 7 of 7 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So after a failing to purchase a Otis van on facebook marketplace, I have started a desperate search for another one to buy! (The seller arranged to go there in a few days and, stalled before saying it had already been sold)
any leads appreciated, I have seen the one advertised on carscom site and topclassiccarsforsale , but I don't think they are recent, just like all the other 'fake' car sales websites.
I'm in the uk but not afraid of shipping, or basketcases!
Thanks!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
Hello,
I am an owner of an Otis electric van in Australia. I believe it was 1 of 2 imported for government testing. Mine was used by one of the councils in Sydney. I am restoring it as it is in rough shape, but it still has its original charger. Depending on how desperate you are to have one, there is one for sale in Arizona. Here is the link: 1975 Otis Electric Van - Robinson Golf Cars. I have spoke with them at the end of last year and it was still available. I was asking them if they had any manuals for it but they said they didn’t. As far as I know it is operational. If you need more info on the history of them, just say as I have done a lot of research into them with the limited info there is on them. There were only 40 made and not all of them sold before Otis’s electric vehicle division closed in late 1975. Also was the one you reference in your post for sale in the UK, as I wasn’t aware of any other there? Did it have any manuals with it as I am on the hunt for some for mine?
It’s cool to see someone else interested in these vans. There are very few left. Here are some pics of mine when it was new and now.
Wheel Tire Vehicle Van Motor vehicle
Automotive parking light Tire Wheel Vehicle Window

Tire Wheel Vehicle Automotive parking light Automotive side marker light
Plant Motor vehicle Electricity Gas Water

Automotive parking light Vehicle registration plate Automotive tail & brake light Tire Vehicle
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hey thanks for your post, I didn't know they made only 40. The one I found for sale in the UK was on a property being cleared. Apparently it was used on a air force base, but that is all I know about it. The seller was clearing the land and had offered the Otis for £300/$400, but he didn't get back to the property owner and I think it may have been sold for scrap.

Wheel Tire Vehicle Motor vehicle Automotive tire

Vehicle Vehicle registration plate Automotive lighting Hood Motor vehicle


Yes it was rough!
I have more photos, if you are interested.
I have seen that one for sale in Arizona, but the seller is asking $10,000 and that's out of my budget.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
That’s such a shame if it was scrapped. Since I came into possession of mine a year or so ago, I have been saving any information I can find (in the form of brochures, videos, news articles from in the day etc). Nasa did testing back in the 70s with them as part of their electric vehicle program. I have all the documentation and that is where it states there were roughly 40 made. I then found the auction listing in the paper when the factory they were made in went under the hammer. There were still about 14 that were sold along with all the tooling to another electric car company of the time. But they didn’t produce any more. They only rebadged a few and that was it. They only made them between 74-75. I believe mine to be the lowest production van still alive, as it has a completely different dash to all the others I have seen and the windows open up and down not side to side which later models had. By the looks of it the green one had the optional gas heater installed due to the hole towards the rear. Mine also has no vin or serial which later models had. Otis also made a bus called the Electrobus. I have no idea if any exist of these. They also made electric forklifts and low speed electric vehicles to run around town and inside large factories. They wanted to try out making larger vehicles but this was ultimately unsustainable and then they completely closed the Otis Special Vehicle Division late 75. At one point Otis was the largest electric vehicle manufacturer in the world. I could go on forever about this little van. It has such an interesting history that not many know about.
Automotive parking light Vehicle Building Motor vehicle Bus
Bus Vehicle Sky Mode of transport Wheel
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
Here is the factory they were made in. I have a lots of articles from old newspapers that mention the van. Between the newspapers, NASA documents and other obscure resources is where most of my knowledge comes from.
Wheel Land vehicle Vehicle Tire Car
 
1 - 7 of 7 Posts
Top