In 1967 or so, my Dad was working for Mass. Electric, and there was a Home Show in Worcester. There they had an electric car. It was a modified Renault, and he got to bring it home for the weekend after the show. He gave us all a ride in it, and it was, to my 11-year old mind, an obvious solution to the internal combustion engine. (One of the things that amazed me was the fact that when you stop, the motor is off. I think of that today, when I’m idling on my bike in traffic…)
My Dad said that the problem was the batteries- the weight of the lead-acid. He said that it was “up to your generation to develop a brand-new battery technology”. 40 years later, we are finally on the brink of that breakthrough, and as hollow as it may sound, I’m proud to be part of the generation that has, in fact, done exactly that.
The preconceptions against electric vehicle are based one basic notion- that they have a limited range. The facts are that most electric vehicles fall within the average daily range of most commuters and something like 90% of vehicle use- 30 miles. People think they need a 100 mile range for a commuting vehicle. They generally do not. They think an electric vehicle won’t get them where they need to go, without a gas motor to augment the batteries. That’s just wrong, in most cases. Besides that, the perception is that an electric vehicle is simply incapable of more range.
I’m building an electric motorcycle to show how simple the technology is. I’m not an engineer. I’m not a mechanic, yet the system is so inherently simple I can assemble one out of readily available parts. The batteries are here, now, and so are electric vehicles.
…and here to stay!
And here is the story of the Mars II Cross Country trip– from Electrical World, October 16, 1967.
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