Motoring

IN PICS | Five of the wackiest electric cars ever made

Some of them date all the way back to 1894

26 July 2020 - 00:00
The Corbin Sparrow.
The Corbin Sparrow.
Image: Wikipedia Commons/Wikidata

1. LITTLE BIRD

The half-car/half-bike introduced in 1999 under the name Corbin Sparrow by Mike Corbin, who made his fame and fortune as a motorcycle-seat manufacturer, could do 70mph tops, and had a range of about 40 miles.

2. QUITE BATTY

Electrobat! Is that not a great name? It belongs to the first commercially viable electric vehicle adapted by Philadelphians Pedro Salom and Henry G. Morris from technology derived from battery-electric street cars in 1894. It was slow and heavy but beat the gasoline cars of the time in a few sprint races.

The Electrobat.
The Electrobat.
Image: Wikipedia Commons/Wikidata
The GE Delta experimental electric car.
The GE Delta experimental electric car.
Image: Wikipedia Commons/Wikidata

3. NADER NIKS

In 1965, Ralph Nader testified before a US Senate committee that electric cars were viable - General Electric could produce a car that would go 200 miles on a charge at up to 80mph, but that GE was in cahoots with the auto and oil industries to hide this technology. The GE Delta experimental electric car was ugly, but could achieve 55mph and had 40 miles of range using nickel-iron batteries.

4. TIN TIME

In 1974, Sebring in Florida made a car called Citicar with two doors, two seats, a 2.5-horsepower DC motor from General Electric, and 36 volts worth of lead-acid batteries. It had a top speed of about 25mph and was really just a glorified golf cart, only uglier.

The torpedo-shaped La Jamais Contente.
The torpedo-shaped La Jamais Contente.
Image: Wikipedia Commons/Wikidata
The Citicar.
The Citicar.
Image: Wikipedia Commons/Wikidata

5. NEVER SATISFIED

In 1899, Belgian Camille Jenatzy created the torpedo-shaped La Jamais Contente ("the Never Satisfied"), an electric car which was the first to break the 100km/h and 60mph barriers.

• Source: Car and Driver website


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