Back in 1912, Thomas Edison, the mastermind behind the lightbulb, set out with plans to reinvent the automobile. Edison envisioned a vehicle driven by electricity, but first, the battery had to be invented. However, that presented little problem because Edison had already invented the alkaline storage battery in 1901 and spent years perfecting it before placing it in the 1912 Edison electric car. Edison built three prototype electric cars in 1912 to showcase his battery technology. In the 98 years since, two of the cars have apparently vanished, but one of Edison's marvelous battery-powered car is still around.
Bob Burrell of Chelmsford, Essex, holds the keys to the only remaining Edison electric car and, for almost half a century, that vehicle languished in a London Garage. Now, after eight years of renovations, the 1912 Edison is ready to hit the streets again. With an estimated value of at least £1 million ($1.58 million U.S. at the current exchange rate), Burrell's pride and joy could very well be the most valuable historic electric car around, and it makes the Tesla Roadster look downright cheap by comparison. The 1912 electric car, packing 15 two-volt batteries and a 30-volt electric motor, could reach speeds of 25 miles per hour, remarkable for the time. But with a price tag nearly double that of a typical gasoline-powered vehicle back then, Edison's dream car was simply too pricey to catch on (some things never change). Burrell sums up the vehicle and Edison's dream like this:
Edison's vision was to make the longest-lasting battery in the world and the cars he built were a part of that quest. A hundred years ago, Edison said electricity was the future because all of the oil would be pumped out of the ground, but it was decided that more money could be made from taxing petrol. Imagine what we would have now if Edison had been listened to a century ago.
Yeah, if only we had listened.
[Source: | Image: Gregory Moine - C.C. License 2.0]

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