Monday, February 29, 2016

The 1971 EFP Electric Passenger Car

The 1971 EFP Electric Passenger Car

If our electric car technology would not have had so many stops along the way, who knows where electric cars  would fit in today’s USA marketplace. It was the product of the Electronic Fuel Propulsion Company of Detroit (founded in 1966 by Robert Aronson), perhaps the only U.S. electric passenger car manufacturer in 1971. The 1971 prototype was based on a AMC Hornet featuring a 144 volt battery pack and a newly designed inverter that charged an accessory battery off the propulsion batteries. It was a heavy car – 5500 pounds, on a platform of an ICE car that in its normal configuration weighed only about 3000 pounds. 

Consequently, vehicle handling could be challenging, including braking. The Hornet had a range of more than fifty miles during a 328 mile test between Detroit and Chicago.

The 1971 version used a 20 hp DC traction motor bolted to a Hornet clutch and three speed transmission. Above the motor were placed angle0iron racks holding a dozen 6 volt EPF Tri-Polar Cobalt batteries. These batteries had three times the internal connections of a typical motor vehicle battery of the day, and plates made with a secret formula surrounded by acid that circulated in an unconventional way.  The solid state controller was a modified  design taken from an English forklift truck, and progressed through three stages.

What ever happened to this venture and the vehicles in designed? If only this R&D project would have been sustained!

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