Edison's 1912 Electric Car Restored

Imagine a future where petrol-powered cars never really caught on. It is hard to do, I know, but try to envision a world where for the past century, electric cars have been the favored mode of transportation. It may have helped us avoid certain wars, global warming might not be the alarming issue it is, and instead of the Big Three automakers, we might have dozens of smaller ones.

It is nice to imagine such a world. And it might have happened too, what with great minds like Thomas Edison and Henry Ford working together. One man with vision though has lovingly restored the only Edison-built electric carriage left in the world. That is dedication.

In 1912 Thomas Edison, the man behind the light bulb, built three electric-powered cars. Edison believed electricity would power future cars, not petrol, because at the time petrol cars were noisy and messy and oil itself difficult to obtain. Such a future did not come to pass though (much thanks to Henry Ford and his petrol-powered Model T for that one), and two of the three Edison electric cars disappeared. The other has been hidden away in a London garage, waiting for the day it returned to the spotlight.

Bob Burrell of Chelmsford, Essex, has spent the past eight years restoring this car. Since there were only three built, and two of them vanished, I imagine it involved a lot of custom craftmanship to bring this car back to working order. Powered by two 15 volt batteries and a 30 volt motor, it can go as fast as 25 mph. Not too shabby, though the Model T was capable of going as fast as 40 mph thanks to its 22-horsepower 4-cylinder engine.

Now the car has reemerged, on the dawn of a new age of electric cars. I hope this is a good omen.

Source: Express UK

Christopher DeMorro

A writer and gearhead who loves all things automotive, from hybrids to HEMIs, can be found wrenching or writing- or else, he's running, because he's one of those crazy people who gets enjoyment from running insane distances.