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Old 19 August 2009, 09:15 PM
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Driver Edison on electric cars

Comment: Can you confirm this quote?

"It is of enormous importance because of the shortage of gasoline.
Portable power plants are necessary. Portable power plants mean portable
fuel. But liquid fuel from the earth is limited in quantity. Coal is
also limited, practically; we have enough for perhaps a hundred years,
but then what? Water power is inexhaustible. With water power to make
electricity and an efficient means of storing that energy by a battery,
we can be independent of gasoline for many purposes for which it is now
used. The enormous increase in the use of electric wagons, trucks, and
pleasure cars, equipped with these batteries, clearly shows the trend of
the future."

-- Thomas Alva Edison, 1924, writing on the Edison (nickel iron)
battery
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Old 19 August 2009, 09:46 PM
jimmy101_again jimmy101_again is offline
 
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Not sure if Edison ever said that, but if he did;

1. Just goes to show that no matter how knowlegable a person is their ability to accurately predict the future is pretty much zero.

2. Take with a big grain of salt any person's claim that their invention (product, concept, solution) solves a particularly difficult problem. It's advertising after all and, in general, not to be trusted.
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Old 19 August 2009, 09:53 PM
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I find it hard to believe he would say that water power is inexhaustible or that we only had 100 years of coal supplies, as both are wildly inaccurate, and would have been known as such at the time.
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Old 13 January 2010, 09:59 PM
robertplattbell robertplattbell is offline
 
 
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Default An anachronism at the very least.

"The enormous increase in the use of electric wagons, trucks, and
pleasure cars, equipped with these batteries, clearly shows the trend of
the future."

Considering that the electric car predated the popularity of the gasoline-powered car, it is odd that he would say this in 1924.

In addition, by 1924, the gasoline-powered automobile had eclipsed the electric car, and there was no shortage of gasoline or service stations in the country. Gasoline was readily available, thanks to the efforts of Standard Oil.

There was no "enormous increase" in the use of electric vehicles in 1924. On the contrary, the use of the gasoline-powered car had hit the mainstream. By that time, the model T was well into its second decade of production.

While Thomas Edison was a proponent of a lot of things (including DC power), by 1924, I doubt he would be making the argument that electric vehicle use was on the rise.

Sounds made up to me. Or at the very least, improperly dated.

I found this quote online at:

http://voices.mysanantonio.com/drive...tonio/2009/08/

I guess we could ask the author of that site where he found it.

This Wikipedia entry (which seems to be edited by electric-car proponents and thus is somewhat suspect) says that Edison invented the battery in 1901,for use in the Baker electric. That would square with the time-line of the electric cars of that era - maybe 1908, not 1924 for such a quote.

As the entry notes, however, the batteries, although having a long life, suffer from a number of performance problems - "due to low specific energy, poor charge retention (similar to nickel-metal hydride), and poor low-temperature performance, and its high cost of manufacture."

In other words, they are too heavy, too expensive, and while they last a long time, really don't work very well.

I think electric cars are very interesting and exciting. Unfortunately, too many crazies out there have made them into fodder for conspiracy theories.

It will be interesting to see if the electric cars on the drawing board actually make production. If so, what will the conspiracy theorists do then?
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Old 28 January 2010, 04:07 AM
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E. Q. Taft E. Q. Taft is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robertplattbell View Post
It will be interesting to see if the electric cars on the drawing board actually make production. If so, what will the conspiracy theorists do then?
Depends on which conspiracy theorists. I can imagine some claiming it's a Zionist plot to bankrupt the oil-producing Arab countries (and that there's really plenty of oil for everyone). Or it's Al Gore elitism, denying them their big gas guzzlers due to the phony Global Warming conspiracy.
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