The First EV Car and Driver Ever Reviewed, from 1960


From the January 1960 difficulty of Sports Autos Illustrated.

We a short while ago drove a auto that, when it reaches production, could just take the 2nd-vehicle marketplace by storm. The most un­usual vehicle of conventional configuration to be en­gineered in this place in quite a few years, it will be manufac­tured by the Nic-L-Silver Battery Firm of Santa Ana, California. There will be no gasoline or air air pollution prob­lems with the “Pioneer,” as it is known as, for this is the most promising to date of the numerous electric powered autos currently being engi­neered in many cities. Exams thus significantly indicate operating charges will be underneath ⅓ cent for every mile.

The two-seater system is of laminated fiberglass by Alken with a detachable tricky best that attaches by four thumb screws. Behind the particular person bucket seats, which shift considerably plenty of again to allow a 6-footer reasonable consolation, are 12 4-volt collection-wired batteries of special design manufactured by Nic-L-­Silver. Concealed beneath rugged flooring which serves as luggage space, these lead-acid batteries have two cells each and every with 31 plates for each mobile and a capacity of 8 several hours at 235 ampere-several hours.

A box part steel body of very simple but rugged construc­tion carries the total torsion-bar suspension, which intently resembles the Volkswagen structure. Two electric powered motors, just about every offering eight shaft horsepower, are employed there is 1 to every rear wheel, the latter becoming driven by a rugged sprocket and chain process that is geared down to preserve electrical power. Prime pace is 50 miles an hour, but acceleration to this max­imum is surprisingly brisk, quicker than that of the typical small imported car or truck.

The First EV Car and Driver Ever Reviewed, from 1960
The Pioneer Electric’s batteries.

Auto and Driver

Driving is straightforward and most pleasant. The seats are as snug as these in most little sports activities autos. In fact a single sits very minimal with the legs outstretched. There are two pedals, a single remaining the typical brake pedal which operates a conven­tional hydraulic system with expanding shoe brakes with just one slave cylinder in just about every wheel. The other pedal is a broad one for acceleration with an procedure finest explained as two-stage. For regular driving at city targeted traffic speeds, 25 to 35 miles an hour, the accelerator is depressed significantly less than midway, and the drain on the batteries is 24 volts at the most. For full acceleration and speeds approaching the maximum, the pedal is depressed earlier the midway mark, whereupon the voltage made use of ways or attains the maximum of 48 volts.

The steering method is also common recirculating-ball sort, with really easy motion of the wheel even at relaxation demanding 3 turns from lock to lock. As the wheelbase is just 95 inches, the Pioneer will convert on a dime parking will be a breeze with space to spare because of to the total duration of 157 inches. The total width is about 60 inches which need to qualify this small runabout for lessened parking prices in a lot of community parking a lot.

George Lippincott, the founder and president of Nic-L-­Silver, hopes to have 10 automobiles a working day rolling off the assembly line now currently being tooled. Electricity firms, postal authorities, and sellers all through the West Coastline states are interested in obtaining the initially versions. As rapidly as possible, ac­cording to Lippincott, the Pioneer will be produced at a level of just one hundred a day, national distribution currently being the eventual intention. The Pioneer has been tested in San Francisco where it devoured the city’s famed steep hills in front of utility officers and fascinated dealers.

The bodyweight of the Pioneer, with the hardtop in location, is 1800 lbs . of which around 600 are accounted for by the batteries. The fiberglass overall body weighs much less than 300 kilos.

“Rather Ghostly” Tranquil

During our demonstration travel all around the outskirts of Santa Ana, we professional the curious glances of motorists in assorted big motor vehicles. Although ready for targeted traffic lights to change, the finish absence of motor sounds is, at initially, some­what ghostly. The two electrical motors do not run when the foot is taken off the accelerator. The latter is, in influence, a swap only when the pedal is pushed do the motors op­erate. Forward and reverse are controlled by a panel of solenoids and switches actuated by a modest toggle change on the dashboard. The latter includes a regular speed­ometer and just one other instrument exhibiting the voltage being drawn.

1960 pioneer electric cab

Car or truck and Driver

150 Miles of Selection Promised

The assortment of procedure may differ from 100 to 150 miles ac­cording to Lippincott, based on irrespective of whether just one pushes the overall performance toward the maximum or is content material to keep with the vast majority of targeted traffic. Not meant to be a touring auto with continental range, the Pioneer is aimed at households demanding the utility of a next auto but also demanding financial system. A battery charger will be typical devices in just about every Pioneer. Recharging will just take a optimum of eight hrs and, in spite of rumors to the contrary, is from a normal 110 volt latest outlet. Utility organizations have indicated an curiosity in delivering this kind of stores in selected community parking lots. In most areas a total charge is not likely to cost much more than the fourth section of a greenback and in which electric power is rather low in price tag, considerably less than 20 cents. If in the process of going to and from operate on parkways the driver stepped on it and acquired only 80 or 90 miles total range, he would still have exceptionally small cost transportation.

The ride is great, telescopic shock absorbers getting utilised. The parking brake will charm to those who like sports cars and trucks: a lever among the seats. The inside of panels of the doors are of appealing layout with the armrest built in.

In addition to the room earlier mentioned the batteries and driving the seats, other luggage can be saved beneath the entrance hood. The area powering the electrical motors will be occupied by the battery charger. Servicing will get minimal time. Examining the stage of the batteries and using a certain gravity looking through occasionally (1.265 is regular) and greasing the chassis is all that is necessary. The latter has a full of three greasing points.

Following to the small cost of operation in great importance is the rate of the motor vehicle which, in convertible type, will be $1995 F.O.B. Santa Ana in accordance to Mr. Lippincott. The bat­teries will have a handy daily life of 3 many years and, at that time, will cost considerably less than $300 to swap. Other than the batteries, there is minimal to get worried about outside the house of occasional motor brushes. The Pioneer will not be the only electric powered auto but it will likely be the to start with.

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