Dodge Eight 5 passenger Coupe All the convenience of the sedan with smaller wheels and larger tires with overall great reliability. Ford V8 The finest safest most dependable ford ever built the ford V8 engine gives power and performance. Hudson Great 8 with its beauty and rich distinction powerful 8 cylinder engine the Hudson Great 8 is the car to own. Lincoln Zephyr The V12 Lincoln Zephyr advanced streamlining and new standards of power, comfort, safety and beauty. Nash Coupe The new Nash Coupe with newly designed airfoil design massive chrome bumpers with carpeted floors oil and fuel filters just some of the latest advances for this car.
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Plymouth Deluxe 4 door touring Sedan 50 new improvements for the new Plymouth , from the sweeping radiator and the built in trunk in the rear , and have been made much more roomier and more luxurious. Congress took note and passed the Electric and Hybrid Vehicle Research, Development, and Demonstration Act of , authorizing the Energy Department to support research and development in electric and hybrid vehicles.
Around this same time, many big and small automakers began exploring options for alternative fuel vehicles, including electric cars. Even NASA helped raise the profile of the electric vehicle when its electric Lunar rover became the first manned vehicle to drive on the moon in Yet, the vehicles developed and produced in the s still suffered from drawbacks compared to gasoline-powered cars.
Electric vehicles during this time had limited performance -- usually topping at speeds of 45 miles per hour -- and their typical range was limited to 40 miles before needing to be recharged. Fast forward again -- this time to the s. In the 20 years since the long gas lines of the s, interest in electric vehicles had mostly died down. But new federal and state regulations begin to change things. The passage of the Clean Air Act Amendment and the Energy Policy Act -- plus new transportation emissions regulations issued by the California Air Resources Board -- helped create a renewed interest in electric vehicles in the U.
During this time, automakers began modifying some of their popular vehicle models into electric vehicles. This meant that electric vehicles now achieved speeds and performance much closer to gasoline-powered vehicles, and many of them had a range of 60 miles.
Early Cars: Fact Sheet for Children
Instead of modifying an existing vehicle, GM designed and developed the EV1 from the ground up. With a range of 80 miles and the ability to accelerate from 0 to 50 miles per hour in just seven seconds, the EV1 quickly gained a cult following. But because of high production costs, the EV1 was never commercially viable, and GM discontinued it in Depending on whom you ask, it was one of two events that sparked the interest we see today in electric vehicles.
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The first turning point many have suggested was the introduction of the Toyota Prius. In , the Prius was released worldwide, and it became an instant success with celebrities, helping to raise the profile of the car.
"motoring refinement at moderate cost" - The Silver
Since then, rising gasoline prices and growing concern about carbon pollution have helped make the Prius the best-selling hybrid worldwide during the past decade. Historical footnote: Before the Prius could be introduced in the U. The other event that helped reshape electric vehicles was the announcement in that a small Silicon Valley startup, Tesla Motors, would start producing a luxury electric sports car that could go more than miles on a single charge.
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In the short time since then, Tesla has won wide acclaim for its cars and has become the largest auto industry employer in California. In comparison, the LEAF is an all-electric vehicle often called a battery-electric vehicle, an electric vehicle or just an EV for short , meaning it is only powered by an electric motor.
Over the next few years, other automakers began rolling out electric vehicles in the U. Automakers and other private businesses also installed their own chargers at key locations in the U. This in turn has helped lower the costs of electric vehicles, making them more affordable for consumers. Consumers now have more choices than ever when it comes to buying an electric vehicle.
The Tucker Was the s Car of the Future | History | Smithsonian
Although the automobile was to have its greatest social and economic impact in the United States, it was initially perfected in Germany and France toward the end of the nineteenth century by such men as Gottlieb Daimler, Karl Benz , Nicolaus Otto and Emile Levassor. The Mercedes, designed by Wilhelm Maybach for Daimler Motoren Gesellschaft, deserves credit for being the first modern motorcar in all essentials. Its thirty-five-horsepower engine weighed only fourteen pounds per horsepower, and it achieved a top speed of fifty-three miles per hour.
By , with the most integrated automobile factory in Europe, Daimler employed some seventeen hundred workers to produce fewer than a thousand cars per year. Nothing illustrates the superiority of European design better than the sharp contrast between this first Mercedes model and Ransom E. The central problem of automotive technology over the first decade of the twentieth century would be reconciling the advanced design of the Mercedes with the moderate price and low operating expenses of the Olds.
Developments before World War I
This would be overwhelmingly an American achievement. Bicycle mechanics J. Frank and Charles Duryea of Springfield, Massachusetts , had designed the first successful American gasoline automobile in , then won the first American car race in , and went on to make the first sale of an American-made gasoline car the next year. Thirty American manufacturers produced 2, motor vehicles in , and some companies entered the business in the next decade. With its vast land area and a hinterland of scattered and isolated settlements, the United States had a far greater need for automotive transportation than the nations of Europe.
Great demand was ensured, too, by a significantly higher per capita income and more equitable income distribution than European countries. Given the American manufacturing tradition, it was also inevitable that cars would be produced in larger volume at lower prices than in Europe. The absence of tariff barriers between the states encouraged sales over a wide geographic area. Cheap raw materials and a chronic shortage of skilled labor early encouraged the mechanization of industrial processes in the United States.
This in turn required the standardization of products and resulted in the volume production of such commodities as firearms, sewing machines, bicycles, and many other items.
In , the United States produced some , of the world total of , motor vehicles. The Ford Motor Company greatly outpaced its competitors in reconciling state-of-the-art design with moderate price. Its two-speed planetary transmission made it easy to drive, and features such as its detachable cylinder head made it easy to repair. Its high chassis was designed to clear the bumps in rural roads. Vanadium steel made the Model T a lighter and tougher car, and new methods of casting parts especially block casting of the engine helped keep the price down.
Committed to large-volume production of the Model T, Ford innovated modern mass production techniques at his new Highland Park, Michigan , plant, which opened in although he did not introduce the moving assembly line until European automakers did not begin to use them until the s. The heavier outlays of capital and larger volume of sales that this necessitated ended the era of easy entry and free-wheeling competition among many small producers in the American industry.
Its popularity was bound to wane as the country urbanized and as rural regions got out of the mud with passage of the Federal Aid Road Act and the Federal Highway Act. Moreover, the Model T remained basically unchanged long after it was technologically obsolete. Model T owners began to trade up to larger, faster, smoother riding, more stylish cars. By replacement demand for new cars was exceeding demand from first-time owners and multiple-car purchasers combined. Given the incomes of the day, automakers could no longer count on an expanding market. Although a few expensive items, such as pianos and sewing machines, had been sold on time before , it was installment sales of automobiles during the twenties that established the purchasing of expensive consumer goods on credit as a middle-class habit and a mainstay of the American economy.
Market saturation coincided with technological stagnation: In both product and production technology, innovation was becoming incremental rather than dramatic. The basic differences that distinguish post-World War II models from the Model T were in place by the late s—the self-starter, the closed all-steel body, the high-compression engine, hydraulic brakes, syncromesh transmission and low-pressure balloon tires.
The remaining innovations—the automatic transmission and drop-frame construction—came in the s.
1900-1930: The years of driving dangerously
Moreover, with some exceptions, cars were made much the same way in the early s as they had been in the s. To meet the challenges of market saturation and technological stagnation, General Motors under the leadership of Alfred P. Sloan, Jr.