Thursday, June 21, 2012

Electric Cars from the mid-1970s: Not very good

Reference: Consumer Reports, 41 (October, 1976), 572ff.

The two electric cars available to the American consumer during the mid-1970s were the Vanguard Citicar and the Elcar 2000. Consumers Union judged both cars unacceptable in 1975, and then retested a Citicar after improvements were made in 1976. Again, the Citicar failed, in part due to braking and other workmanship issues that were deemed hazardous. The Citicar's performance was abysmal: 0-30 mph in 19 seconds, top speed 32 mph, and a range of 32.6 miles. It had no safety belts, and the car's ride was very poor. The Citicar jumped and jolted over irregular roads, and lost directional stability.

In conclusion, Consumer Reports stated

"Unfortunately, electric-car technology has made little progress in nearly a century. Congress recently passed a bill that would provide $160 million in research money in the next 6 years....The Citicar is useful mainly of a demonstration of how far electric-car technology has yet to go, not how far it has come."

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