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Discussion Starter #1
Last September I posted about the fact the R.E. Olds favorite cars were electric:
http://gm-volt.com/forum/showthread.php?17292-R.E.-Olds-Favorite-Cars-Were-Electric

The mystery of the so-called "lost electrics" is discussed in that post.

Since then I have been fortunate to peruse some files that were in the desk of R.E. Olds at the time of his death in 1950. Among those files is this 1899 photograph of R.E. Olds driving an Oldsmobile electric car that he designed and built:



Note that this is not the 1899 Olds Electric Phaeton. This is the Olds electric Stanhope body style; these cars are mentioned in a pre-1901 sales catalogue.

olds037_BW.jpg
 

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And it probably could drive close to 40 miles on a charge too
Yes, although the top speed was much less than today's electrics. I found another file in this collection which is a photograph of a 1904 R.E.O. Motor Car Company ICE roadster - that was indicated to get 40 miles per gallon. Again, the top speed was much lower than today's hybrids.
 

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These old electrics weighed around 600-900 lbs, had a top speed of 30-40mph. They could go 40 miles like a Volt, but looking at the photo, this is obviously an apple/oranges comparison. :)
 

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Very nice, I think is just great that old electrics so early on - it just further proves we were very slow with battery technology since then, combined with the wasted time on hydrogen fuel cells for cars to please the oil companies - when the carbon emissions would be twice that of gas/petrol!

So batteries or super capacitors are definitely the future, the scientists just need to keep at it and given more resources as the humans (2 legged carbon life forms) can and do achieve amazing R&D once enough "effort" is applied.

Love the old electrics as they showed us the way very early on!

Cheers,
Martin
 

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I read that R.E. Olds at one time actually was selling three different types of automobiles: gas, electric, and steam. But a fire in 1901 destroyed his factory and he rebuilt only to sell gas Oldsmobiles. It was the first brand to have a song dedicated to it in 1905. There is one Curved Dash Oldsmobile still running as the oldest registered vehicle in America, and probably in the world. I drove my Dad's 1967 Cutlass Supreme until 1975, and I had a 1984 Cutlass Ciera until 2010 when I sold it to a neighbor after 26 years.

It was America's second and oldest brand (Duryea was the first), but GM killed it because it was the middle brand inside the lineup (Chevrolet, Pontiac, Oldsmobile, Buick, and Cadillac). Now GM only has three.
 
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