Last night, Elon Musk of Tesla Motors unveiled the Model 3, Tesla's affordable electric car. Not an April Fool's joke, this reasonably-priced sedan can carry us to a sustainable future.
(Tesla Unveils Affordable Model 3 Electric Car)
Take a look at this short test ride:
(Short test ride in Tesla Model 3 Electric Car)
Science fiction writers did not create the idea of electric cars; electric vehicles of different types (2,3 and 4 wheels) were in use in Europe in the late 19th century. Electric vehicles also had a brief vogue with well-to-do buyers in large cities, who weren't bothered by their relatively short range, considering it a reasonable trade-off for quiet, odor-free operation.
In his 1894 novel A Journey in Other Worlds, however, John Jacob Astor IV painted the following utopian picture of a transportation system that used electric phaetons which may seem quaint today, particularly given the speed and handling characteristics of the Tesla Model S:
"The electric phaetons, as those for high speed are called, have three and four wheels, and weigh, including battery and motor, five hundred to four thousand pounds. With hollow but immensely strong galvanically treated aluminum frames and pneumatic or cushion tires, they run at thirty-five and forty miles an hour on country roads, and attain a speed over forty on city streets, and can maintain this rate without recharging for several days. They can therefore roam over the roads of the entire hemisphere, from the fertile valley of the Peace and grey shores of Hudson Bay, to beautiful Lake Nicaragua, the River Plate, and Patagonia, improving man by bringing him close to Nature, while they combine the sensations of coasting with the interest of seeing the country well...
"...we feel that `Excelsior!' is indeed our motto."
You'll note that Elon Musk spent a fair amount of time describing the network of recharging stations that make electric cars a reality.
(Tesla superchargers next year)
John Jacob Astor also covered this requirement:
"To recharge the batteries, which can be done in almost every town and village, two copper pins attached to insulated copper wires are shoved into smooth-bored holes. These drop out of themselves by fusing a small lead ribbon, owing to the increased resistance, when the acid in the batteries begins to 'boil,' though there is, of course, but little heat in this, the function of charging being merely to bring about the condition in which part of the limestone can be consumed, the batteries themselves, when in constant use, requiring to be renewed about once a month.
(Read more about the Electric Car Recharging Station)
Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 4/1/2016)