So I learned tonight that down in Philadelphia, which actually touches Bucks County, there were two early electric car-makers named Pedro Salom & Henry Morris who built their own EV. This was back in 1894 and it was one of the first automobiles in the country. Our original DIY boys built their car in two months. It was basically a super-heavy box of batteries on spoked wheelsweighing in at 4400 pounds (including sixteen hundred pounds of lead-acid fuel). Also, it was named the Electrobat, which is probably the Best EV Name Ever.
5 years later (1899-1900) the intrepid pair of Salom & Morris could be found in New York City running a whole bunch of Electrobat 2.0's in an all-electric taxi fleet (!). Furthermore, they were resolving their time-to-recharge problem with a battery-swapping scheme highly reminiscent of Shai Agassi's contemporary Project Better Place. Shortly afterwards our heroes got tangled up wtih robber barons and the editor of the automotive trade magazine Horseless Age (who hated hated hated electric cars), and subsequently disappeared from history. Except of course from EV history, which is my favorite kind and interests folks like the clearly intelligent and apparently fabulously handsome Alexis Madrigal, a senior editor at the Atlantic. The Atlantic is a REAL MAGAZINE my friends and a very classy one! There is something for everyone to love in this article if you love derbies, mighty mechanical feats involving hydraulic pistons and swappable battery packs weighing 1,300 lbs, plus words like 'autoelectrophobe' (be still my heart). Maybe I love those things enough for all of us, come to think of it.
YES! News from the folks at Carnegie Mellon who are working to harness robotics in the service of EV conversions -- their 2002 Honda Civic production prototype is complete and they are taking orders from folks who want their gas cars converted to quiet, efficient, and peaceful electric operation. Go CREATE Lab, go.
Science Daily reports from the lab on batteries with a "three-dimensional nanostructure" process that achieves both high capacity and large current. Over at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign they apparently have these clever little bicontinuous electrodes charging and discharging 10 to 100 times faster than equivalent bulk electrodes.
I am a big admirer of Buckminster Fuller and also, apparently, of cars that look like catfish and can hold eleven people. Despite its super-cool name which sounds almost electric, this is not an EV. I nearly omitted it from the blog on account of Relevancy Rules, but then I had to let it back in because who can resist a car that looks at you with such sad eyes begging not to be excluded? Not me, Dymaxion. This interesting post is from METROPOLISMAG.COM (that is how they spell it) and my gosh it is the website of another actual magazine, go figure! And here I thought paper publishing was dead, but as you know spring is a time of renewal ...
here is a link to the official bucks county renewables website
EV's in Macungie
4th annual event in 2012 news
Why Electric Vehicles?
If you are new to EV's, watch the six-minute video below to learn about the history and advantages of all-electric vehicles. The video features our converted 1991 Dodge Colt.
Click below for a clip of our 1985 Volkswagen Vanagon EV rolling for the first time on August 10, 2007. It was converted by the participants in a two-week EV Conversion Workshop sponsored by Bucks County Renewables, and then re-converted and upgraded during a second workshop in 2009.