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Meet the Electric Porsche From 1898

samzenpus posted about 7 months ago | from the 40-rods-to-the-hogshead dept.

Transportation 143

cartechboy writes "We all talk about the Tesla Model S and Nissan Leaf as if electric cars are brand-new. In fact, electric cars were around long before you were alive, or your father, or maybe even your grandfather. It turns out that the very first Porsche ever built was an electric car--way back in 1898. It wasn't called a Porsche, but an 'Egger-Lohner electric vehicle, C.2 Phaeton model'--or P1 for short. Designed by Ferdinand Porsche when he was just 22 years old, it has a rear electric drive unit producing all of 3 horsepower--and an overdrive mode to boost that to a frightening 5 hp! It had an impressive range of 49 miles, not that much less than many of today's plug-in cars. Porsche recently recovered the P1 from a warehouse--where it has supposedly sat untouched since 1902--and plans to display it in original, unrestored condition at the Porsche Museum in Zuffenhausen, Germany."

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Generalizing much? (5, Insightful)

ugen (93902) | about 7 months ago | (#46115601)

Does the article really need to begin with ridiculous generalization?
"We all talk about the Tesla Model S and Nissan Leaf as if electric cars are brand-new. In fact, electric cars were around long before you were alive, or your father, or maybe even your grandfather. It turns out...."
Yes, yes - the readers on slashdot are morons, who have absolutely no idea about most basic technology. "We all" are so dumb, we think the wheel was invented yesterday. Hurr-durr...

Re:Generalizing much? (2)

bob_super (3391281) | about 7 months ago | (#46115625)

Next week we'll teach you how the first car above 100km/h was electric.
Stay tuned shortly afterwards for the amazing discovery of DNA...

Re:Generalizing much? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46115659)

Judging by how far the average Slashdotter's tongue is up Elon's backside, yes, the readers on /. are morons. Or perhaps just no less influenced by marketing and other quasi-religious propaganda as the rest of the population.

Re:Generalizing much? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46115769)

Is Musk a shameless opportunist who was just lucky in life? Yes. That's all he is IMO. But Tesla makes a nice car.

Hmm (4, Insightful)

fiannaFailMan (702447) | about 7 months ago | (#46115855)

Made a fortune on the internet.

Started a car manufacturing company producing high-tech electric vehicles that make anything produced in Detroit these days look like a Model T.

Building spaceships to take tourists out of the atmosphere.

"Just lucky in life"? Maybe, but it makes me wonder what you've achieved lately.

Re:Hmm (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46115893)

Well, obviously, like the 6999999999 other humans that can't do what he did, I have survived. I also wonder what kind of rebuttal " what you've achieved" is to "he's just lucky."?

I also didn't ask you if he made money on the internet, lots of people have. He's an opportunist. He didn't actually do anything, he was just at the right place and the right time.

And oooohhh taking people out of the atmosphere. Yeah, uh, like that's something more than an adventure ride for other rich people? Come on.

Re:Hmm (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46116283)

Idiot.

Re:Hmm (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46117147)

You dont "get" lucky the number of times you think Musk has, dickhead. Once might be lucky, twice he just happened to be in the right place maybe believeable.... but with the number of very successful ventures he's been involved with, there is zero chance luck has got dick to do with it.

Yeah yeah, Paypal is a shithole, fine I agree. SpaceX isnt. Tesla are superior electric cars. Solar City wasnt luck. Youa re just a shit poster on the Internet. Musk only you know only founded 4 highly successful and innovate companies. Yeah, luck indeed.

Re:Hmm (0)

Bing Tsher E (943915) | about 7 months ago | (#46117863)

Musk made a mint with PayPal and has been plowing the proceeds into what he thinks is 'cool stuff' with mixed results.

It just goes to show that money can buy cool stuff in today's market. It's sort of a shame that the opportunity was there for Musk; many other companies and operators should be doing the same.

He's done a lot better than Paul Allen thus far, but there's no real qualitative difference.

Re:Hmm (1)

camperdave (969942) | about 7 months ago | (#46117667)

Musk isn't taking rich people out of the atmosphere. That's Branson. Musk is taking astronauts to the ISS, and then to Mars.

Re:Hmm (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46116005)

"Just lucky in life"? Maybe, but it makes me wonder what you've achieved lately.

You obviously think that the above deserve to be called "achievements".

You have a warped and juvenile concept of what an achievement actually is.

Why don't you go back to your video game, you silly little bitch, and leave judging
the world to men who have actually lived in it.

Re:Hmm (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46116223)

Why yes, they are achievements. Quite sizable ones actually. You on the other hand have done what exactly?

Re:Hmm (4, Insightful)

Dahamma (304068) | about 7 months ago | (#46116443)

You forgot "helped drive the consumer solar industry in the US".

Man, that dude is just plan LUCKY. There can't be any other explanation. No matter how many lottery tickets *I* buy they don't seem to lead to a string of successful multibillion dollar businesses that all practically revolutionized their respective industries. But maybe next week...

Re:Hmm (3, Interesting)

gargleblast (683147) | about 7 months ago | (#46116505)

Building spaceships to take tourists out of the atmosphere.

Err - that would be Branson. Musk is concentrating on real astronauts, real payloads and real destinations.

Re:Generalizing much? (2)

iggymanz (596061) | about 7 months ago | (#46115681)

do you really know when the first electric car was invented without looking it up? it was in the 1830s...

Re:Generalizing much? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46115737)

Well, there are more than a few people convinced we're colonizing the universe in 3D printed monopole-powered war drives.

Re:Generalizing much? (5, Interesting)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | about 7 months ago | (#46115755)

I have repeatedly had people tell me that electric cars are "new technology that needs to be given time to mature." They never react well when I point out that electric cars have been around more or less as long as internal combustion engine cars. So, yes, that beginning was warranted.

Re:Generalizing much? (1)

westlake (615356) | about 7 months ago | (#46116133)

I have repeatedly had people tell me that electric cars are "new technology that needs to be given time to mature."

The modern electric car is quite some distance removed from the lead-acid battery technologies of the 1880s.

Re:Generalizing much? (3, Insightful)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | about 7 months ago | (#46116351)

The modern ICE car is quite some distance removed from the ICE cars of the 1880s as well and no one tries to pass it off as new technology that just needs a few more years to reach maturity.

Re:Generalizing much? (4, Informative)

LordLucless (582312) | about 7 months ago | (#46116613)

That's because modern ICE cars have been under continuous development for over a century. Electric cars had a few early models, then languished undeveloped for a hundred years, before we recently started up development of them again.

Re:Generalizing much? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46116765)

"Electric cars had a few early models, then languished undeveloped for a hundred years, before we recently started up development of them again."
The two main components, the motors and the battery tech, have also been under continuous development.

There is no magic technology reason that electric cars are suddenly interesting again. It's environmental and fuel price concerns.

Re:Generalizing much? (1)

Firethorn (177587) | about 7 months ago | (#46117503)

The two main components, the motors and the battery tech, have also been under continuous development.

The control system which mates the two wasn't really developed over that time. Most of the motors were hooked up to the grid, and battery packs the size of modern EV's were extremely rare, much less mobile versions.

There is no magic technology reason that electric cars are suddenly interesting again. It's environmental and fuel price concerns.

No magic, but I figure the 'bullet' is a combination of LiIon battery technology allowing an EV to finally compete with the unrefueled range of a gasoline vehicle, the development of speed controls that allowed efficient use of AC Induction motors [wikipedia.org] as motor-generators as opposed to less efficient DC motors, combined with the mentioned environmental and fuel price concerns.

Re:Generalizing much? (1)

ChrisMaple (607946) | about 7 months ago | (#46117831)

In 1968, MIT students had developed an electronic controller for use in the Great Electric Car Race against Cal Tech. Alas, the controller went up in smoke and they had to use more conventional means for controlling the motor.

More generally, variable speed motor control has been important for industry as long as there have been electric motors, and research into controls has been ongoing. Consider for example the thyratron, developed around 1920 and commercialized about 1928.

Re:Generalizing much? (1)

Firethorn (177587) | about 7 months ago | (#46117859)

Read through the wiki - until relatively recently(we're still talking about decades here) they had to use DC or slip-ring motors, which reduced efficiency, which translates to more batteries needed for a given range, which means more weight and expense.

It's a matter of margins and economy more than whether they could actually do it.

Re:Generalizing much? (1)

The Grim Reefer (1162755) | about 7 months ago | (#46116811)

It's a shame that Abner Doble couldn't have continued with his steam powered cars. [damninteresting.com] Considering what he was able to do with them using 1920-1930's tech, it would be amazing to see what could be done today.

Re:Generalizing much? (1)

ChrisMaple (607946) | about 7 months ago | (#46117847)

Sorry, steam is an inherently inferior technology for motor vehicles. No amount of clever design or money applied to research is going to let steam catch up with the IC engine.

Re:Generalizing much? (3, Insightful)

FishTankX (1539069) | about 7 months ago | (#46116995)

This may on the surface be true. But the primary technological challenge with electric vehicles is battery technology, and this has been under development for a century and a half. Maybe even 2. Even still, though rechargeable batteries have gone up in capacity maybe 10x, it is still not anywhere near competing with ICE vehicles cost effectively. That will come when the air-chemistry batteries hit the market, with another 10x increase in energy storage per volume/weight due to negating the need to carry your cathode. (or is it anode?)

Re:Generalizing much? (2)

ChrisMaple (607946) | about 7 months ago | (#46117855)

The only electrode that has a potential for a 10X weight improvement is hydrogen, which is difficult to store.

Re:Generalizing much? (-1, Troll)

operagost (62405) | about 7 months ago | (#46117521)

That's because they sucked compared to ICE engines then, and they suck compared to ICE engines now. Only desperation, in front of an unholy alliance between government and "green" corporations, has resurrected the technology.

Re:Generalizing much? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46116631)

We don't give a fuck what you discuss with your leather wearing buddies down at the faggot bar, faggot. This is Slashdot. We're a little different here.

Re:Generalizing much? (1)

Alex Shakeri (3519457) | about 7 months ago | (#46117157)

Poor Ferdinand Porsche has been rolling in his grave until Elon Musk came along and picked it back up...glad we're back on the right path.

Re:Generalizing much? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46117449)

So in other words the argument of needing more time is BS, It doesn't work much better after 100+ Years.

Re:Generalizing much? (1)

timeOday (582209) | about 7 months ago | (#46117613)

I have repeatedly had people tell me that electric cars are "new technology that needs to be given time to mature." They never react well when I point out that electric cars have been around more or less as long as internal combustion engine cars.

And how did you react when a good electric car was finally invented, thus proving your friends had been right all along?

Re:Generalizing much? (1)

ChrisMaple (607946) | about 7 months ago | (#46117873)

"How did you react" is past tense. To have any semblance of reasonableness, you should use future tense, because there is yet to be a good electric car.

Re:Generalizing much? (2)

ezzthetic (976321) | about 7 months ago | (#46115841)

Any history of motorised transport will mention electric and steam-powered vehicles.

There's the opening lines of the old folk song "He's Been on the Job Too Long":

"Well its twinkle, twinkle little star
And along comes Brady in his 'lectric car..."

Re:Generalizing much? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46115869)

I'm willing to bet a majority of Slashdot readers have no idea electric cars were A Thing before petrol. And that Porsche created a successful hybrid not long after the vehicle in question. And I know I'd win a bet if I said 95% of ALL motorists have no idea about the history of cars. Yes, the statement is warranted esp. to an audience who is not educated on car history. You know that signifigant minority of drivers have no idea if their car is FWD, RWD or AWD and I would even think that percentage would be higher here, where knowledge of cars is scant?

And to answer a statement made later in discussion - not knowing car history is moronic? NO. It's damn well understandable given knowledge of cars is thin at best for most people and it is not relavent as well. It's only people like me who take an interest in car history that it's relavent.

Even someone who does know more than a bit about cars had no idea Porsche made a successful heavy vehicle hybrid. Hybrids were actually quite a thing it turns out for heavier vehicles as the automobile developed.

Re:Generalizing much? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46116435)

I'm willing to bet a majority of Slashdot readers have no idea electric cars were A Thing before petrol. And that Porsche created a successful hybrid not long after the vehicle in question. And I know I'd win a bet if I said 95% of ALL motorists have no idea about the history of cars. Yes, the statement is warranted esp. to an audience who is not educated on car history. You know that signifigant minority of drivers have no idea if their car is FWD, RWD or AWD and I would even think that percentage would be higher here, where knowledge of cars is scant?

And to answer a statement made later in discussion - not knowing car history is moronic? NO. It's damn well understandable given knowledge of cars is thin at best for most people and it is not relavent as well. It's only people like me who take an interest in car history that it's relavent.

Even someone who does know more than a bit about cars had no idea Porsche made a successful heavy vehicle hybrid. Hybrids were actually quite a thing it turns out for heavier vehicles as the automobile developed.

Could we have a computer analogy?

Re:Generalizing much? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46117097)

Okay then....

It's like this cloud thing........

Re:Generalizing much? (1)

Alex Shakeri (3519457) | about 7 months ago | (#46117277)

5400 rpm platter drives versus ssd drives.

Re:Generalizing much? (1)

gishzida (591028) | about 7 months ago | (#46117419)

Hybrid.... hmmmm....

The Mass storage system for the original IBM PC had a hybrid option.

The original IBM "True Blue" [bare bones, five slot] PC did not come by default with a hard drive [the original 5 Mb drive was insanely priced]. An optional second 5 1/4 inch floppy drive cost several hundred dollars.... IBM trying to widen their market decided to give 'low end' [i.e. read: poor engineers, hobbyists, techno-working class, and students] users an option for mass storage, IBM designed and included a "cassette interface' which used a 5 pin DIN connector and sold a cable that allowed a user to use a low-cost 'off the shelf' audio cassette recorder. The cassette could be controlled by programs written with the embedded "PC Basic" which was in ROM on the motherboard. I had occasion to use the cassette interface until a bit of research in a local dumpster behind a floppy drive manufacturing "start up" turned up a fully functional disk drive. DOS 1.1A... those were the days!

Emergency! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46116041)

Sounds like we need to call you an electric Whaaaaambulance stat!

Re:Generalizing much? (1)

operagost (62405) | about 7 months ago | (#46117493)

It could be worse. Jon Katz could run out of dog material.

Re:Generalizing much? (1)

Ghaoth (1196241) | about 7 months ago | (#46117759)

Did the article address /. readers specifically? I think not. You need to calm down a bit before you blow a gasket

Hitler crony (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46115621)

Bad guy this porsche.

Re:Hitler crony (1)

Bing Tsher E (943915) | about 7 months ago | (#46117869)

A lot of people were 'Hitler cronies' in that same period. The entire US Communist Party thought Hitler was the right side to back, until he betrayed Stalin.

Um... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46115633)

> We all talk about the Tesla Model S and Nissan
> Leaf as if electric cars are brand-new.

People who don't know history do, I suppose. In the early years, electric, steam, and various fuels were used in cars. It was about 25 years before the internal combustion engine dominated the industry. The first line of the Wikipedia page on electric cars [wikipedia.org] (after defining what one is) says "The first electric cars appeared in the 1880s."

Re:Um... (3, Informative)

mschaffer (97223) | about 7 months ago | (#46115687)

In a country where the chief executive makes claims that the US invented the automobile....yest, it is appropriate to assume we are all ignorant.

Re:Um... (4, Insightful)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | about 7 months ago | (#46115875)

In a country where the chief executive makes claims that the US invented the automobile....

To be fair to Obama, his actual statement was:

"I believe the nation that invented the automobile cannot walk away from it."

And Germany has heeded his advice, and not walked away from it. But Obama bugged the phone of Angela Merkel to find that out.

Now if Obama says:

"If you like your car, you can keep it."

. . . you will know that new government regulation to take your car off the road is underway . . .

Re:Um... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46115899)

. . . you will know that new government regulation to take your car off the road is underway . . .

We already had Cash for Clunkers.

Re:Um... (1)

Bing Tsher E (943915) | about 7 months ago | (#46117891)

Cash for Clunkers was just a warm-up exercise.

Does your car have the smarts in it to be remotely disabled? Does it have the capability to track where it has traveled, so that the road tax can be calculated based on usage? Those are slated to be required features. The day will come when speed limit signs are obsolete because the max speed is beamed at your vehicle from the roadside.

In the eyes of forces within the Government it's obsolete and only a matter of time before it's not permitted on public roads.

Re:Um... (0)

operagost (62405) | about 7 months ago | (#46117547)

At least the ones who voted for him.

Re:Um... (1)

GrahamCox (741991) | about 7 months ago | (#46117383)

And in 1899 an electric car set the world land speed record, and was the first car to exceed100km/hr

Is it bad? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46115679)

Is it bad that I read the headline as "Meet the Erotic Porsche from 1898"?

Re:Is it bad? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46115711)

I read it as "Meet the Electric Probe from 1898"

Re:Is it bad? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46115757)

Does it have a vibrator on the gear shift?

Re:Is it bad? (1)

Longjmp (632577) | about 7 months ago | (#46115989)

Does it have a vibrator on the gear shift?

Yes, it's called "reverse".

105 years in a warehouse (2)

symbolset (646467) | about 7 months ago | (#46115723)

Might need a fresh waxing.

Re:105 years in a warehouse (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46115825)

no: removed patina decreases value

Re:105 years in a warehouse (1)

Bing Tsher E (943915) | about 7 months ago | (#46117905)

That's only true when there are tens, hundreds, thousands of something in existence, so that the patina can be compared.

The 'historic value' of the remaining original paint finish is important, but the paint also serves to preserve the vehicle, and if it's chipping off it can't do that.

I'm an electric car! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46115733)

I can't go very fast!
Or very far!
And if you buy me,
People will think you're gay.

Re:I'm an electric car! (2)

stox (131684) | about 7 months ago | (#46115751)

It won races, the other cars of the era wont so fast either.

Re:I'm an electric car! (1)

Ralph Wiggam (22354) | about 7 months ago | (#46115857)

The Porsche 918 says you're an idiot.

Re:I'm an electric car! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46116371)

You would be the idiot. Porsche cars suck. They are under powered and can't handle worth shit.

Re:I'm an electric car! (1)

i.r.id10t (595143) | about 7 months ago | (#46116387)

Underpowered for what? 1/4 mile times? Yup, they are.

But my '65 356 w/ 75 hp engine can out corner a brand new production Camero or just about any other muscle car. Granted, on the straight aways I'll get the rust blown off my doors, but Porsche owns cornering and handling.

Re:I'm an electric car! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46116533)

Here [youtube.com] is a GT3 getting its ass handed to it in the corners by an FRS and a mustang.

Re:I'm an electric car! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46116595)

I suspect my Toyota MR2 would probably do very well in the same corners. It's advantage is the mid engine design which improves weight distribution. Performance wise though, I've little doubt I'd be passed on the straighaways, although some MR2's were competative there as well.

Re:I'm an electric car! (1)

cusco (717999) | about 7 months ago | (#46116889)

Porsche owns cornering and handling.

That's because it's a Volkswagen.

Re:I'm an electric car! (1)

operagost (62405) | about 7 months ago | (#46117615)

It's spelled "Camaro".

And handling performance, unfortunately for you, is easily measured. I don't have skidpad and slalom times on hand for your 356C-- probably because no one tested them then. But we could now, and it will be quite hilarious to watch you try to match the .89G skidpad performance of the bone-stock Camaro SS in your 356C on 185mm tires with 14" wheels. And then the slalom, with your swing axle jacking the rear wheels... hah.

Re:I'm an electric car! (1)

mjwx (966435) | about 7 months ago | (#46117747)

It's spelled "Camaro"

Consider it payback for mutilating the word Jaguar.

And the Camaro is a terrible handling car. Oversteer galore and due to all the weight being at the front and all the power being at the back, you lose the back end far too easily. Granted, it's not as bad as the Mustang, but still not good. I believe that his ancient car would out corner a Camaro because it's likely to weigh under half as much, but not a car with a decent cornering ability like a WRX or EVO.

BTW, if you want lateral G forces, try a proper drift pig like a Nissan S13.

Re:I'm an electric car! (1)

mjwx (966435) | about 7 months ago | (#46117719)

Underpowered for what? 1/4 mile times? Yup, they are.

But my '65 356 w/ 75 hp engine can out corner a brand new production Camero or just about any other muscle car.

Erm, that isn't an accomplishment.

Muscle cars corner like absolute crap due to their heavy weight poor weight distribution. Saying you can out-corner a muscle car is like saying you have more personality than a chemistry teacher's cardigan.

Hatchbacks like Toyota Corolla's out corner American muscle cars. Try to out corner a modern Subaru Impreza with it's AWD system. Even the non turbo Impreza that only has 100 odd KW corner faster and smoother than 2-400 KW muscle cars, let alone the twin turbo WRX STI...

Cornering ability is not a function of engines, its' a function weight and weight distribution.

Re:I'm an electric car! (1)

Barsteward (969998) | about 7 months ago | (#46117911)

"Cornering ability is not a function of engines, its' a function weight and weight distribution."

its also well designed modern suspension

but does it fit (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46115767)

modern American fatasses?

Re:but does it fit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46115803)

Too much cookie dough, dough boy.

Jay Leno has a 1909 Baker Electric (4, Informative)

Megahard (1053072) | about 7 months ago | (#46115819)

And there's a great summary of electric vehicles in the US 100+ years ago on his page.

http://www.jaylenosgarage.com/... [jaylenosgarage.com]

Re:Jay Leno has a 1909 Baker Electric (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46115853)

Capitalist pig Leno owns more than his fair share of vehicles; comrades, his wealth must be redistributed immediately!

Re:Jay Leno has a 1909 Baker Electric (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46116437)

Let's just get him to stop monopolizing the Tonight Show brand. NBC can find somebody else.

Thank you... (1, Insightful)

fiannaFailMan (702447) | about 7 months ago | (#46115871)

...for producing the first informative post on this whole sorry thread.

Gawd slashdot has gone downhill over the years!

Hang on, back up. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46115835)

This is ground breaking! This changes everything!

You're telling me that Porsche built...a MID ENGINED car?

Better hurry! (1)

cold fjord (826450) | about 7 months ago | (#46115921)

Unless the rate of progress speeds up the past might catch up, or even pass us.

Sadly there are too many inventions that are an improvement upon their successors.

I wonder if Porsche could use this [johannes-l.net] for inspiration for a future hybrid solar-human vehicle?

Re:Better hurry! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46115941)

Unless the rate of progress speeds up the past might catch up, or even pass us.

The American Empire is decadent and dying. Lost technology is inevitable.

Re:Better hurry! (1)

cold fjord (826450) | about 7 months ago | (#46116069)

You may have to refactor your thinking since the story is about Germany. That is the same Germany that is trying to abandon nuclear power for wind power. I think there is a lot of wind on the subject.

Re:Better hurry! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46116153)

"Sadly there are too many inventions that are an improvement upon their successors."

I've read that about 15 times now, and it still makes no sense.

Re:Better hurry! (1)

cold fjord (826450) | about 7 months ago | (#46116219)

The meaning is the "improved" versions are not necessarily better, and sometimes worse. I can think of various books, equipment, or pieces of software that became less useful after revision. The idea has been expressed by many people before. One notable quote from the realm of Computer Science is this:

"ALGOL 60 inspired many languages that followed it. C. A. R. Hoare remarked: "Here is a language so far ahead of its time that it was not only an improvement on its predecessors but also on nearly all its successors" -- ALGOL [wikipedia.org]

wasn't this on cnn (1)

plopez (54068) | about 7 months ago | (#46116083)

3 or 4 days ago?

The wrong path chosen (0)

Twinbee (767046) | about 7 months ago | (#46116169)

I would've loved to see the state of batteries had the electric car been popular throughout the decades. We've put up with the stone-age ICE for too long, a technology which has and will barely see any improvement relative to batteries which could be so amazing (even in 5000 years, batteries will be the universal way to power portable appliances like the car).

Re:The wrong path chosen (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46116303)

If the ICE is "stone age", why did it take so long for us to invent it? I do not understand why some people always need to inject this emotional hyperbole into arguments.

Re:The wrong path chosen (2)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | about 7 months ago | (#46116321)

Maybe the reason the electric car stopped being popular was because batteries are NOT such a good way to power a "portable appliance like a car"?

Re:The wrong path chosen (1)

mattack2 (1165421) | about 7 months ago | (#46116679)

You can say that, but it's because oil was just so cheap/readily available.

Re:The wrong path chosen (1)

Bing Tsher E (943915) | about 7 months ago | (#46117927)

Fuel cost is part of what makes something a 'good way.'

Re:The wrong path chosen (1)

westlake (615356) | about 7 months ago | (#46117265)

Maybe the reason the electric car stopped being popular was because batteries are NOT such a good way to power...a car?

To charge a bank of lead acid batteries you needed a convenient source of electric power. That was not a cheap or easy problem to solve once you reached the city limits. Delco-Light Farm Electric Plant [doctordelco.com] It would remain a problem until the great public works projects of the thirties.

While petroleum products could be conveniently shipped and stored almost anywhere as early as the 1860s.

Re:The wrong path chosen (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46116349)

I hold you get killed by being electrocuted by an electric car.

Re:The wrong path chosen (1)

spitzak (4019) | about 7 months ago | (#46117713)

I feel that in such a parallel universe the batteries being used in about 1940 would be better than the ones we have today.

well Ill be (1)

Osgeld (1900440) | about 7 months ago | (#46116171)

nevermind there were more electric vehicles in widespread use before there were many gas stations 1898 is a pretty early example

http://insideevs.com/in-early-... [insideevs.com]

This is old news (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46116257)

My great-grandfather used to read his newspaper while sitting on his back porsche.

He who does not learn from the past, is doomed etc (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46116463)

Sometimes fads repeat themselves.

In two decades' time, we'll look back on electric cars as a failed experiment.

Just like last time we tried.

A battery is one of many possible stores of chemical energy. It's absurd to think that it's the best.

Re:He who does not learn from the past, is doomed (1)

GrahamCox (741991) | about 7 months ago | (#46117337)

In two decades' time, we'll look back on electric cars as a failed experiment.

90% efficiency vs. 25% (merely for starters) says you're wrong.

A battery is one of many possible stores of chemical energy. It's absurd to think that it's the best.

Maybe, as long as what you convert it to is electrical energy. So, might as well call it a "battery", which actually only means "a collection of cells". It says nothing about what those cells must do.

Re:He who does not learn from the past, is doomed (1)

operagost (62405) | about 7 months ago | (#46117649)

Efficiency means nothing if you don't have energy density. These vehicles have to move people around in a practical manner. If efficiency was all that mattered, we could use lead-acid batteries.

Nice, but ... (1)

PPH (736903) | about 7 months ago | (#46116509)

... I'll settle for a 918 Spyder if its all the same to you.

People who don't know this kind of thing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46117723)

scare the shit out of me.
I don't mean not knowing the exact date when the first electrical car was built. But people should have some general idea of the development of a technology in common use.

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