Free Republic
Browse · Search
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

115-year-old electric car gets same 40 miles to the charge as Chevy Volt
The Daily Caller ^ | 3/11/12

Posted on 03/11/2012 10:59:59 PM PDT by Impala64ssa

Meet the Roberts electric car. Built in 1896, it gets a solid 40 miles to the charge — exactly the mileage Chevrolet advertises for the Volt, the highly touted $31,645 electric car General Motors CEO Dan Akerson called “not a step forward, but a leap forward.”

The executives at Chevrolet can rest easy for now. Since the Roberts was constructed in an age before Henry Ford’s mass production, the 115-year-old electric car is one of a kind.

But don’t let the car’s advanced age let you think it isn’t tough: Its present-day owner, who prefers not to be named, told The Daily Caller it still runs like a charm, and has even completed the roughly 60-mile London to Brighton Vintage Car Race.

If you didn’t know there are electric cars as old as the Roberts, you aren’t alone. Prior to today’s electric v. gas skirmishes, there was another battle: electric v. gas v. steam. This contest was fought in the market place, and history shows gas gave electric and steam an even more thorough whooping than Coca-Cola gave Moxie.

But while the Roberts electric car clearly lacked GPS, power steering and, yes, air bags, the distance it could achieve on a charge, when compared with its modern equivalent, provides a telling example of the slow pace of the electric car.

Driven by a tiller instead of a wheel, the Roberts car was built seven years before the Wright brothers’ first flight, 12 years before the Ford Model T, 16 years before Chevrolet was founded and 114 years before the first Chevy Volt was delivered to a customer.

As the New York Times reported September 5, “For General Motors and the Obama administration, the new Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid represents the automotive future, the culmination of decades of high-tech research financed partly with federal dollars.”

Like “green technology’s” most powerful proponent, President Barack Obama, the 1896 Roberts was made in Chicago. Obama, who supports the $7,500 tax credit for the Volt, is not fazed by its 40-mile electric limit — he only drove the car 10 feet.

TOPICS: Business/Economy; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections; United Kingdom
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first previous 1-2021-4041-6061-72 next last
To: Impala64ssa

Electricity is an old fuel

41 posted on 03/12/2012 3:49:00 AM PDT by School of Rational Thought (Fun for women ages 21 through 35)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: mylife

42 posted on 03/12/2012 4:01:05 AM PDT by rockinqsranch (Dems, Libs, Socialists, call 'em what you will, they ALL have fairies livin' in their trees.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: Fresh Wind

Appropriate. “Would you believe.........40 miles to a charge?”

43 posted on 03/12/2012 4:07:02 AM PDT by wbill
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 40 | View Replies]

To: mylife
There were hundreds of electric car company's back then. They all went bust because the internal combustion engine is more efficient.

Just so, the market place made that decision decades ago.

Early Electric Automobile Manufacturers

Around 1900 the American Automobile future was confused. Would electric, steam or gasoline automobiles dominate? One of the earliest and best known American Electric Automobile was the Waverley. The advertisement on the lower right stated it was "By Far The Best Electric On The Market." The Early American Electric Automobiles were not only light and safe but noiseless, odorless, clean, durable, comfortable and simple in operation. Popular American Electric Automobiles include the Baker, Bailey, Chapman, Rausch & Lang, Waverly and Woods.

American Electric Automobile Name / Manufacturers Name

Go to to learn more about these American Automobile Manufacturers!

Ajax - Ajax Motor Vehicle Co. New York, NY 1901-1903     A light electric runabout, 2 passenger, with bicycle type wheels.

American Electric - American Electric Vehicle Co. Chicago, IL 1899-1902

American Juvenile Electric - American Metal Wheel & Auto Co. Toledo, OH 1907     An electrically powered car with seats for 2 children only.

Argo - Argo Electric Vehicle Co. Saginaw, MI 1912-1914    This electric car used a 60 volt system and reliable Westinghouse motors.

Autoette - Autoette Electric Car Co. Long Beach, CA 1950s    A small electric car used in retirement communities.

Automatic - Automatic Electric Transmission Co. Buffalo, NY 1921    A small electric car that claimed a range of 60 miles and 25 MPH.

The above is a list of only the A's, go to the link for many, many more.

44 posted on 03/12/2012 4:18:39 AM PDT by Covenantor ("Men are liars who refuse them news, and by fools who cannot govern." Chesterton)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: Impala64ssa

Ping for later.

45 posted on 03/12/2012 4:20:07 AM PDT by Upstate NY Guy
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Impala64ssa

With out doubt, the miles to charge rate was made in a GM meeting after the rate of the Roberts was brought up.

There is of course a fallacy in the story or at least failure to report. Although the rate of charge was the same, there was no consideration of time and speed. The Roberts likely did not exceed 15 mph.

46 posted on 03/12/2012 4:25:26 AM PDT by bert (K.E. N.P. +12 ..... Crucifixion is coming)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: mylife
I never understood how an engineer could think

"Lets use hydrocarbons to make electricity, send it down the line step down the voltage, convert it to DC, store it in a battery and think they were gaining energy."

Both empty containers potentially storing energy. Useless until charged from an external source.

A five gallon Jeep type empty gas can costs about $50, the new Volt/Leaf/Fiskar battery costs $10k and up. Any body can use a hand calculator to figure out the return on investment. Only those poor deluded souls that have "Emotional feel good" factor keys will find the electrics the better deal.

47 posted on 03/12/2012 4:33:06 AM PDT by Covenantor ("Men are liars who refuse them news, and by fools who cannot govern." Chesterton)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 18 | View Replies]

To: mylife

48 posted on 03/12/2012 4:40:56 AM PDT by Overtaxed
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: Impala64ssa
49 posted on 03/12/2012 4:45:42 AM PDT by preacher (Communism has only killed 100 million people: Let's give it another chance!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Dryman
What happened to that gm electric car from the eighties?

You mean the "Impact"? Yes, they actually named the car for a crash. When they realized how stupid the name was, they changed it to "EV1."

What happened to the car? In 1990 (22 long years ago), our brilliant "California Air Resources Board" passed a mandate for zero-emissions vehicles. BIG GOVT mandated that the seven major automobile suppliers in the United States offer electric vehicles in order to continue sales of their gasoline powered vehicles in California. Nearly 5000 electric cars were designed and manufactured by GM, Toyota, Honda, Ford, Nissan, and Chrysler. After technical problems and clear lack of consumer interest, the cars were destroyed or donated to museums.

Don't forget...BIG GOVT knows what's best for you. The "wisdom of markets" be damned.

50 posted on 03/12/2012 4:53:15 AM PDT by ProtectOurFreedom
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: skr

The Volt has an onboard computer,electric windows, an electric heater, radio, lighted dash, probably electric seats,all of these using electricity and wasting it.

I remember when the Volkswagen came to America. It was basically a 55 gallon drum with a motor and seats.

When you add in all of the modern eletrical devices you take away power that can be used for miles.

Just put a Honda generator in the trunk and build the thing to work like a locomotive. Power the electric motors with a generator.

51 posted on 03/12/2012 5:11:06 AM PDT by Venturer
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 34 | View Replies]

To: Vendome
Chevy Volt gets same mileage as 115 year old technology.

Let's be fair here. The old car was probably 1/10th the weight of the Volt. Plus, if you put a new-technology battery in it she would probably do 500 miles. Only, it would be about 15 mph.

52 posted on 03/12/2012 5:11:48 AM PDT by TangoLimaSierra (To the left the truth looks Right-Wing.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 21 | View Replies]

To: ProtectOurFreedom

Why is it the generation two EV1s could go between 100 and 140 miles to the charge and the Dolt only gets 40 at best?

53 posted on 03/12/2012 6:10:24 AM PDT by Jack Hydrazine (It's the end of the world as we know it and I feel fine!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 50 | View Replies]

To: Impala64ssa
The $31,645 Chevy Volt


It's just under $40K without the tax credit my tax dollars are stolen for ... not to mention the billions (with a B) of $$ Fedzilla spent to get it out the door and into the showroom.

54 posted on 03/12/2012 6:34:44 AM PDT by tx_eggman (Liberalism is only possible in that moment when a man chooses Barabas over Christ.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: mylife

Actually, they can do a lot more than they did 100 years ago, if you have the money to pay for it. The Tesla roadster can go about 250 miles, and the new Tesla S, comes with a 300 mile option and 30 minute quick charge. So the technology has progressed, but the price hasn’t come down.

55 posted on 03/12/2012 6:44:43 AM PDT by NavVet ("You Lie!")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: Sacajaweau

Not to pick nits, but I have a windmill (almost as old as this car) and it continues to work perfectly fine. Of course, it was designed, manufactured and sold without government mandate or financing and meets an actual market demand.

56 posted on 03/12/2012 6:54:35 AM PDT by Mr. Lucky
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: Mr. Lucky

They need to put windmills on top of these electric cars.
That would solve the whole problem.

57 posted on 03/12/2012 6:57:49 AM PDT by MrB (The difference between a Humanist and a Satanist - the latter knows whom he's working for)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 56 | View Replies]

To: preacher

The amazing thing about the clean car cartoon is that it is lightyears ahead of the entire public school education system in the United States, which can’t teach the simplest fact. Not the simplest fact.

58 posted on 03/12/2012 7:04:07 AM PDT by samtheman
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 49 | View Replies]

To: Dryman

the EV-1 had issues with the battery and charging.

That is glossed over.

ALL ev-1’s were leases with no option to buy. They were also all fleet vehicles.

59 posted on 03/12/2012 7:12:10 AM PDT by longtermmemmory (VOTE! and
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: Impala64ssa

As usual liberals think all their ideas are revolutionary and new despite decades or centuries of discrediting evidence.

60 posted on 03/12/2012 10:56:49 AM PDT by TalonDJ
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first previous 1-2021-4041-6061-72 next last

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794 is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson