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The Electric Car: An Idea Whose Time May Never Come

The vision of the future touted by many environmentalists includes electric automobiles. The dream of the electric car is an old one; for quite a few decades now, electric vehicles have supposedly represented the future. Thus, a friend sent me this photocopy of a newspaper article titled “Ford Chief Says Electric Car Now Is Under Development.” The article appeared in January 1971; click to enlarge:

Ford Motor Co. is nearing a breakthrough in developing a small, long-lasting battery for an electric automobile. …

The spokesman emphasized that the new development, now under intensive research, was not a fuel cell but a new type of battery, presumably using different and lighter elements than the conventional lead or nickel-cadmium batteries. …

The current experimentation is with the power source only. There has been no development work yet on a car for it to go into.

The spokesman, however, said that would be no problem and that design and development of the car could be done easily after final decisions had been made on the battery.

My favorite part is the conclusion:

The last successful American automobile powered by batteries was the old Baker Electric, which used a tiller arm instead of a steering wheel and was last made in the 1920s.

The car of the future!

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