THE ELECTRIC AUTOMOBILE

The expected future shortage of gasoline may lead to renewed interest and activity in the development of electric automobilies. Although the vehicles are expensive, electric automobilies are available today for in-town driving. With sufficient demand by the public, the resurging higher production and lower cost could make the electric car a major factor in urban transportation. This report reviews the early history of the electric vehicle and discusses why it has been unable to compete successfully with the gasoline powered automobile. The provision of an automobile with enough electricity to give it the same range of performance as the gasoline-burning automobile is identified as the key problem. In a discussion of costs, it is observed that there will be no essential difference between the cost of the present gasoline-power systems and an electric motor, its controls, and its simplified drive train. The battery however, will be an additional cost. The cost for battery alone is estimated at 3 cents per mile. Power costs at 3 cents per mile per kilowatt-hour to the battery charger and an overall efficiency of 50 percent from power in to power out would add up to about 2.25 cents per mile. Thus total operating costs including battery replacement, would approximate 5 to 6 cents per mile or about twice today's cost for gasoline vehicles of comparable performance with gasoline at 50 cents per gallon. The present status of the electric automobile is discussed. Four manufactures are active in the field of electric automobiles. The smallest vehicles are aimed at retirement centers. The largest vehicles are built on conventional chassis. The claimed performance ranges up to top speeds of 65 mph for short periods, but with an expected speed of 40 mph for 30 to 45 miles.

  • Corporate Authors:

    Battelle Memorial Institute

    505 King Avenue
    Columbus, OH  United States  43201
  • Authors:
    • Reid, W T
  • Publication Date: 1974-4

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Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00260256
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Aug 28 1974 12:00AM