Remembering the tiny quirky Enfield Electric Car from the 1970s [w/video]

30 Май 2014 | Author: | Комментарии к записи Remembering the tiny quirky Enfield Electric Car from the 1970s [w/video] отключены
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Remembering the tiny, quirky Enfield Electric Car from the 1970s [w/video]

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Bell bottoms and oversized collars from the 1970s might strike some as kitschy, but the concept of an urban electric vehicle pioneered by UK-based Enfield during the early part of that decade remains current. With Nissan starting production of its all-electric Leaf in Sunderland in the UK earlier this year, the BBC recounts the brief history of a car that it says was ahead of its time.

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An interesting documentary by film maker Chris Paine called Who … the electric car. examines the genesis and destruction of the EV-1 automobile. These vehicles which produced no exhaust fumes and used no gasoline were one of the best General Motors production vehicles made in limited edition in 1996, and leased by random people selected by lotteries and referrals including celebrities like Alexandra Paul, Alan S. Lowenthal (Calif. State Senator), Mel Gibson, Tom Hanks, and Ed Begley Jr. It’s interesting who … that specific model of electric car and why they were destroyed in the end after most leasees insisted on renewing their leases on the vehicles and GM denied them the opportunity.

The cars were collected at the end of the leases and destroyed. Moral of this story: The EV-1 was too efficient of an electrical vehicle. Used no gasoline, had no exhaust fumes, and required very little maintenance.


@ larry ,

Um. this my come as a bit of a surprise to you, but since Chris Paine made this documentary in 2006, the vast majority of ABG readers have seen this documentary, and argued about it endlessly.

The documentary sensationalised a long, and mostly inaccurate belief, that a conspiracy existed to kill electric cars, and EV’s in particular.

The truth is always far less glamorous. The EV 1, was never intended as a production vehicle, it’s battery was insufficiently developed, it’s size and configuration, was very restrictive, electronics problematic, and if sold as a production car, would have cost over $150,000. In addition, no significant public charging infrastructure existed.

Always ignored is the fact that GM built the car as an experimental vehicle. By offering the EV1only as a lease, GM was able to avoid the very expensive and onerous, requirements normally imposed on the release of a new model, by the US federal authorities.

At the end of the lease period, the law obliged GM to recover the vehicles and ensure that they were not resold for road use.

Anyone who has been involved with the production of early EV’s will tell you that the WKTEC film was very sensationalist, and did far more harm than good, by creating a conspiracy where none existed. It also raised unrealistic expectations of ‘magic’ performance.

Other electric vehicles, produced around that time experienced the same problems, including billion dollar failures like Vectrix etc..

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Films like WKTEC car maybe new to you, and I congratulate you for your interest, but for those familiar with the history of EV technology, they are annoyingly inaccurate.

In the meantime, EV’s have developed a great deal, the advent of more advanced electronics, lithium batteries and better charging facilities, have made a huge difference, very quickly.

But the most important development has been the hugely successful use of EV technology by Toyota Prius and Lexus Hybrids.

Electric cars (even hybrids) have been able to be built for over 150 years. In fact for the first 25 years, EV’s were more popular than gasoline cars. It was only in 1914 with the addition electric self-starters did the ICE vehicle start to make headway against it’s electric rival.

It always been possible to produce an electric car, but the technology has simply never existed to build a vehicle that’s commercially viable. It’s taken a combination of massive investment, government support, and technical advances, to produce the EV available for purchase today.

It’s also taken a decade of hard work, a dramatic change in environmental awareness by the general public, higher fuel prices, Hybrids, massive advances in technology, etc to create the existing market for EV’s.

Such factors didn’t exist in 1996, if GM had attempted to sell the EV1 in 1996-99, the result would have been a commercial failure, and may have destroyed investment in EV technology.

Marco — thanks for the history lesson!

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