Monday, February 22, 2016

A 1959 Electric Car Experiment: the Charles Townabout Electric Car

It looked like a customized Karmann-Ghia. The entire body wheel was a glass-reinforced resin molded into one piece. The frame was aluminum with four wheel suspension -- fabricated in one hour by two men working at the Stinson Aircraft Co. in San Diego.

The pilot model tested by Motor Trend had a range of about 80 miles. It had four 12 volt batteries in series, or 48 volts located under the luggage shelf behind the seats that powered two direct current motors placed above each of the two half shafts.

The entire future of the electric car centered on the efficiency of batteries -- then and now!
orm p. 29 , Motor Trend, August 1959:

"As for the future...if you will think for a moment -- those satellites revolving around the earth that blip-blip for weeks send their blips courtesy of ultra-light -weight batteries. They're still sort of semi-classified, but that really doesn't matter -- at this time one of those batteries costs as much as the whole Charles Townabout.  But when these featherweights are mass produced, watch those costs come down. In the meantime, lots of credit and lots of luck to these modern-day electric car pioneers."

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