115-year-old electric car gets same 40 miles to the charge as Chevy Volt

115 year old electric carMeet 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.


[Via DailyCaller.com]

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3 Responses

  1. BadVooDooDaddy

    It just goes to show you how much money big oil pumps into the car industry exec’s pockets. If we would have expanded on the electric car back when the first one was made think about the advances in electric cars that would be made by now. It scares me to think that we are at the same place as we were over 100 years ago.

  2. Scott R.

    One problem with the electric car that very few will talk about is the indirect pollution that the car generates, The battery itself. The mining and disposal of said battery components is a huge issue. Take into account as well the sorry state our electric grid is in and the closing of so many power plants due to EPA regulation, at this point is an electric car really an option?

  3. fortlauderdalefllimo

    The mining as well as disposal associated with explained electric battery factors can be a massive matter. Bear in mind also the particular sorry condition our own electric grid is within and the shutting down associated with a great number of electrical power facilities as a result of EPA legislations, here is an electric car really a choice?


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