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The History of Electric Vehicles
The Middle Years of Electric Cars (1930 - 1990)
1975 Electric Vehicle - Postal
 More of This Electric Car Feature
Electric Cars Early Years
Electric Cars Middle Years
Electric Cars Current Years
Related Car Resources
Solar Powered Cars
Alternative Energy
History of Cars
1971 Battronic Truck - electric vehicleElectric vehicles had all but disappeared by 1935. The years following until the 1960s were dead years for electric vehicle development and for use as personal transportation.

The 1960s and 1970s saw a need for alternative fueled vehicles to reduce the problems of exhaust emissions from internal combustion engines and to reduce the dependency on imported foreign crude oil. Many attempts to produce practical electric vehicles occurred during the years from 1960 to the present. 

In the early 1960s, the Boyertown Auto Body Works jointly formed the Battronic Truck Company with Smith Delivery Vehicles, Ltd., of England and the Exide Division of the Electric Battery Company. The first Battronic electric truck was delivered to the Potomac Edison Company in 1964. This truck was capable of speeds of 25 mph, a range of 62 miles and a payload of 2,500 pounds.

Sebring-Vanguard Citicar - electric carsBattronic worked with General Electric from 1973 to 1983 to produce 175 utility vans for use in the utility industry and to demonstrate the capabilities of battery-powered vehicles. Battronic also developed and produced about 20 passenger buses in the mid 1970s. 

 Two companies were leaders in electric car production during this time. Sebring-Vanguard produced over 2,000 "CitiCars." These cars had a top speed of 44 mph, a normal cruise speed of 38 mph and a range of 50 to 60 miles.

The other company was Elcar Corporation, which produced the "Elcar". The Elcar had a top speed of 45 mph, a range of 60 miles and cost between $4,000 and $4,500. 

Elcar - electric carsIn 1975, the United States Postal Service (see top image) purchased 350 electric delivery jeeps from the American Motor Company to be used in a test program. These jeeps had a top speed of 50 mph and a range of 40 miles at a speed of 40 mph. Heating and defrosting were accomplished with a gas heater and the recharge time was 10 hours.

Next page > Electric Cars The Current Years (1990 to Present)

Photos and partial information provided by the U. S. Department of Energy

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