Electrosport

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Electrosport
200px
Automotive industryElectric Fuel Propulsion Company
Production1971 – 197?
AssemblyFlag of the United States Detroit, Michigan
Car classificationCompact car
Car body style4-door Sedan (car)
4-door Station wagon
Internal combustion engineDC series Traction motor
Transmission (mechanics)3-speed manual
Wheelbase108 inches (2,743 mm)
Length181 inches (4,597 mm)
Width70.6 inches (1,793 mm)
Curb weight5,500 lb (2,500 kg)

The Electrosport was a compact Electric vehicle built by the Electric Fuel Propulsion Company (EFP). The zero-emission Concept car were made using American Motors (AMC) Hornet sedans and “Sportabout” station wagons starting in 1971.[1]

The Electrosport was designed to be a supplementary vehicle for commuting or daily chores and to be recharged at home using household current as well as at Charge Stations away from home to replenish power in 45 minutes.[2][3]

The company also established the “World’s First Electric Car Expressway” between Detroit, Michigan and Chicago (a distance of about 300 miles (483 km)) that consisted of Interstate 94, but with six charging stations that were located at Holiday Inn hotels near the highway.[3] Additional charging stations were planned.[2]

An EFP designed 20 horsepower (15 kW) Direct current series-wound Traction motor (the size of a one-gallon paint can) was bolted through an Aluminium adapter plate to the car’s standard Clutch and 3-speed Manual transmission. The motor was similar to that offered to teams in the Great Electric Race and capable of speeds up to 90 miles per hour (145 km/h).[4] A total of 24 six-volt “TriPolar” Cobalt-Lead Rechargeable battery were mounted under the Hood (vehicle) and under a Plywood floor in the Trunk (automobile). These improved lead-cobalt batteries recharge fast and can go as many as 250 miles between charges.[4] One 12-volt battery was provided for the car's lights and accessories. The solid-state, stopless controller was a modified unit from a Forklift truck. An auxiliary Gasoline heater with a one-gallon tank provided heat and defrosting.[3]

The exterior of the Electrosport was differentiated from a regular Hornet by a one-piece solid Fiberglass body-colored panel in place of the AMC's silver and black plastic Grille. Additional gauges were added to the instrument panel. The Hornet’s gas cap covered the three-prong plug mounted in the former fuel tank filler hole to which an extension cord connected to 220-volt AC power.[3]

While reviewing a prototype, Motor Trend magazine indicated that cruising in second gear keeps the motor close to its 7000 Revolutions per minute maximum will draw the least amount of Electric current (amperage) from the batteries, thus achieving further range between recharges. The non-assisted brakes required a lot of pressure on the pedal because of the heavy weight of the car with its batteries – a total of 5,500 pounds (2,495 kg) in a chassis designed for 3,000 lb (1,400 kg) creates problems. Acceleration from 0 to 60 mph was described as rather slow at 30 seconds, but flooring the accelerator in third gear produced the same sensation as in a large-sized car with a V8 engine and automatic transmission, clocking 12.5 seconds to go from 50 to 70 miles per hour (80 to 113 km/h).[3]

An Electrosport was used by the Golden Valley Electric Association of Fairbanks, Alaska, as a test to help deal with the increasing Fog in the city.[5] This thick, choking fog is caused when Water vapor from automobile exhaust and other sources meets an air mass that is too cold to disperse it, as well as cold enough to Crystallization it.[5] The 5-passenger vehicle was capable of reaching 60 miles per hour (97 km/h) in below Freezing weather, and after 50 to 100 miles (80 to 161 km) of driving, its on-board fast-charger could replenish the batteries in less than 60 minutes.[5]

The Electrosport was also tested and analyzed in a report about the impact of future use of electric cars in the Los Angeles, California region" in 1974,[6] as well as in a technical report on the performance of the Electrosport electric vehicle in 1975 by the United States Department of Energy.[7]

The Electrosport was marketed as "a unique addition to the premium car market" and this was reflected in the station wagon's delivered price of United States dollar11,900 (state and local taxes not included).[2] The company's target sales for the all-electric car were the New York City, Los Angeles, and Palm Beach, Florida markets.[8]

In 1971, the average price for 1 US gallon (Convert/l impgal) of gasoline was 36 cents (in the United States).[9] For comparison, the original Suggested retail price (MSRP) of a standard gasoline-powered Hornet Sportabout wagon was only $2,587.[10]

References


Inline
  1. Anderson, Curtis D; Anderson, Judy (2004). Electric and Hybrid Cars: A History. McFarland & Company. pp. 47. ISBN 978-0786418725. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 1971 Electrosport sales brochure, Electric Fuel Propulsion Company of Detroit, Michigan.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 Packard, Chris (August 1971), "The Next Sound You Hear Will Your Electric Car B-Z-Z-Z-Z", Motor Trend 
  4. 4.0 4.1 "Cambridge or Bust, Pasadena or Bust" Engineering and Science, October 1968, page 17, retrieved on 2008-07-10.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 ”Alaskans Nominate Electric Car to Defeat Ice Fog” Machine Design magazine, 1971, page 6.
  6. Hamilton, W. (1975). Impact of future use of electric cars in the Los Angeles region. Santa Barbara, Calif: General Research Corp.
  7. United States. (1977). Energy research abstracts. Oak Ridge, Tenn.: Technical Information Center, U.S. Dept. of Energy.
  8. Artman, James editor. The Commercial Car Journal, volume 123, 1972, page 19.
  9. "1971 Economy/Prices" 1970s Flashback, undated, retrieved on 2008-07-10.
  10. NADA guide search under the "Classic Cars" tab, then "Select a Passenger Car make" for 1972 AMC Hornet station wagon, retrieved on 2008-07-10.
General
  • "Alaskans Nominate Electric Car to Defeat Ice Fog", Machine Design: 6, 1971 
  • Electrosport automobile retail sales brochure, copyright 1971, Electric Fuel Propulsion Company of Detroit, Michigan.
  • Packard, Chris (August 1971), "The Next Sound You Hear Will Your Electric Car B-Z-Z-Z-Z", Motor Trend 
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