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Electric vehicle group to support Route 66 festival January 30, 2014

Posted by Ron Warnick in Events, Vehicles.
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The Historic Electric Vehicle Foundation will bring electric vehicles and lend its support to the International Route 66 Festival on Aug. 14-17 in Kingman, Ariz., according to a news release from the group.

After reviewing the information on the festival the HEVF Board of Directors voted unanimously to not only attend, but to support the concept of using Route 66 as the core of America’s First National Electric Highway. According to Roderick Wilde, Executive Director of HEVF, it was the theme that got their attention, “Crossroads of the Past and Future” but it was the conferences and exhibits that clinched the deal.

The conferences include:

— Project to Transform ROUTE 66 into America’s First Electric Highway — Presentation about the installation of charging stations along the Mother Road
— History of Electric and Alternative Energy Vehicles in America

According to Wilde the festival will give HEVF an opportunity to showcase their foundation and their goal of building the world’s first International Electric Vehicle Museum. The foundation will be bringing approximately a half dozen electric vehicles of historical significance to the festival for exhibition. These will include a 1930 Detroit Electric, a 1960 Electric Shopper, a 1961 Trident, and the World’s first electric Street Rod, a 1932 Ford Roadster which has been featured in several magazines and international car shows. Also a 400 mile range EV2, the creation of HEVF’s Marketing Director, John Wayland, who will be driving it from Oregon to the festival.

Here are two more photos of a few of the electric vehicles that will appear at the festival:

The idea of putting charging stations along Route 66 has been percolating for some time. This map shows charging stations or EV dealers along many of the larger cities along Route 66.

Tesla Motors in particular has been aggressive in building Supercharger stations. According to this map, Tesla will have stations along Route 66 every 150 miles or so.

Just a few years ago, that many stations would have been unthinkable.

(Images courtesy of the Historic Electric Vehicle Foundation)

Comments»

1. Remy Chevalier - January 30, 2014

This is wonderful news. I would like to remind everyone that the “Electric Highway” idea for Route 66 is not new, and has been in the works for quite some time. It was launched by Electrifying Times magazine back in 2006 with a documentary featured online and a beautiful cartoon map from Bob Waldmire.

2. Trevor Hilton - January 30, 2014

I’m not at all against technological improvements. The automobile itself was an improvement over the horse and EFI was an improvement over carburetors. But, my gas car can drive 200 miles, and in 5 minutes at a gas station, it’s ready to go another 200 miles. Electric cars need several hours to recharge. If my car has a mechanical problem every town has a mechanic who can fix it. Electric cars, for now, don’t have that advantage.
I’m not saying electric cars are bad, Many cities use them as local commuter vehicles. I’m just saying I think it’ll be a few more years before they are good, long-distance cruisers.

Ron Warnick - January 30, 2014

Actually, Trevor, the Teslas have a 300-mile range and can be 80 percent recharged in 40 minutes and 100 percent charged in 75 minutes at their Supercharger stations.

Trevor Hilton - January 30, 2014

I didn’t know that. That’s great. So the technology is being improved. Now it just needs the supporting infrastructure (charging stations, mechanics who can fix them, etc.) to make them practical as cruisers and long-distance vehicles.

3. Jim Hinckley - January 30, 2014

Remy is correct. This endeavor has been bandied about for some time with numerous fits and starts. This, however, could be the tipping point that makes it a reality.

4. DynoDave - January 31, 2014

Yes, and the Tesla is $80,000.000 (MSRP $71,070.00 – $94,900.00). More commonly affordable EVs like the Leaf have about 100 miles of range, or, not enough to make it from one stop to another in this chain of charging stations, even once completed.

In reviewing the car, Edmunds said, ” While this isn’t exactly chump change, the base model’s EPA-estimated range of 208 miles is more than double that of any other electric vehicle, and that means the Model S is a much more viable EV to own. To get the most out of your Model S ownership, though, we’d recommend the bigger (and more expensive) 85 kWh battery pack, which provides an estimated 265 miles of range.”

http://www.edmunds.com/tesla/model-s/2013/

The only one that makes any practical transportation sense right now from a performance and cost point of view is the Volt, in my opinion, because it carries it’s own generator. And while this is an excellent technological answer to “range anxiety”, it carries it’s own penalties too, like buying a car with two powertrains, the extra weight, etc. And of course, like the Leaf, it’s very small inside, and therefore not a great long haul road car for many users.

The Tesla’s 300 miles range, like all electric car ranges, is based on ideal circumstances, with a decided effort by the driver to obtain that number. Inconveniences like traffic, stop and go driving (like on Rt. 66), high or low ambient temperatures (which impact battery efficiency) the need for heat or air conditioning, lighting, wipers, stereo, GPS, traversing hills or driving into the wind ALL reduce the range in a pure EV. Driving in mountains, in a desert environment, will QUICKLY deplete your electric reserves.

Then there are those pesky car fires that keep happening to the Tesla, which the NHTSA currently has under investigation.

Trevor is correct. This is a technology that is not yet ready for prime time where long distance travel is concerned. My Suburban, while only getting about 17 MPG on the highway, maybe 15 in Rt. 66 style driving, has a 42 gallon tank, giving me an effective range of over 600 – 700 miles, and a huge amount of space and comfort to cover those miles in for 7 passengers + luggage, is 4wd, and can tow a travel trailer, snowmobiles, a cord of fire wood, etc. When and electric vehicle can do that, can be cleanly recycled, not touch off international frictions as manufacturers vie for limited quantities of precious resources needed for the batteries, be re-powered just on wind and solar so no additional carbon/nuclear fuel is used to create the electricity, then I’ll think about it. But I probably still won’t do it.

Ron Warnick - January 31, 2014

I’ll be the first to admit EVs aren’t yet ready for mass consumption. But they’re much more ready than they were even five years ago. I suspect within another five or 10 years, they’ll be commonplace.

At the same time, regular vehicles are getting more efficient. My 2012 Honda Fit gets 40-42 miles per gallon on the highway, and pickups are getting 25 mpg pretty regularly. The latter number was unthinkable even 10 years ago.

5. Jim Hinckley - January 31, 2014

Initially, and now, electric vehicles made sense for urban usage. Modern technologies make such usage even more practical.
As to fuel economy I suggest evaluation of old Gilmore and AAA economy runs. I think folks would be quite surprised.
The Nash 600 pushed close to 30 mpg, the 1954 Dodge p.u. with Powerdome V8, a driver, passenger, and 500 lb payload, 21.75 mpg. Crosley and American Bantam neared 50 mpg.
A 1936 Chrysler with overdrive averaged 22.5 at 55 mph in a series of tests. Studebaker cars and trucks of the 40’s and 50’s often tested out at more than 22 mpg.


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