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creates no air pollution and, perhaps more persuasive to potential buyers, has operating costs which are considerably less than those with internal combustion engines for stop-and-go driving.

Just recently, an interesting suggestion was made by columnist Howard K. Smith in the June, 1966, issue of Washington magazine. Declaring that there are dozens of things which we can do about city traffic “when the moment of total paralysis and the incidence of lung and throat ailments finally prove that something must be done."

One of these could be to provide inner city drivers with a fleet of drive-yourself electric, two-seater carts, which could be driven for a mile, at a speed of 20 miles per hour, for each coin put in a slot. “There would be no fumes, no important accidents, and no traffic jams caused by a mere 40 or 50 people scattered oneapiece in limousines big enough for eight."


It is certainly true, as Mr. Smith says in the same column, that there are few inner cities today where distances were not covered faster half a century ago in horse-drawn vehicles than they are today in Cadillacs.

So one arm of the research effort into the electric vehicle can be directed toward designing, specifically for urban use, a vehicle which can transport people from place to place at relatively low speed, with ease of stopping and starting in dense traffic. The design of the vehicle itself requires an investment of talent and imagination.

Since there remain a good number of one-car families in America, and since the automobile represents both a convenience and a pleasure vehicle, a great deal of work must be done to increase the speed at which a battery-driven auto can travel, and to increase the distance which can be traveled without recharg. ing the batteries.

A recent article by Edmund K. Falterma yer, a ppearing in the November, 1965 issue of Fortune magazine, reported that Yardner Electric Corp. of New York City has fitted up a special Renault Dauphine with lightweight batteries that can propel it at speeds up to 5. miles an hour, and up to 80 miles on a charge. "The catch is that these are military-type silver-zinc batteries costing $3,000." Nevertheless, Mr. Falterma ver added, several companies, including Yardney and General Dynamics Corp. are pushing ahead in the search for batteries that would cost only a fraction of this.

Mr. Faltermayer concludes that while a battery-operated car suitable for long journeys is a long way off, a smaller version might be available in a few years. Perhaps he was overly pessimistic, in view of progress which could be made if an all-out research effort were launched to develop smaller, lighter, and more powerful batteries. The fuel cell may offer an even more promising Field for further research.

FUEL CELLS HOLD PROMISE William T. Reid, of Battelle Memorial Institute, who is serving as coordinator of a broad research program on fuel cells, declared in a recent article that the greatest promise in providing electrical power for an automobile comes from the fuel cell. Although fuel cells are not being used commercially, Mr. Reid reported that they are being used experimentally for powering fork-lift trucks, golf carts, and the like.

From the standpoint of electric utilities, Mr. Reid noted that the hydrogenoxygen fuel cell, which presently has reached the highest level of development of any type of fuel cell, would run on the products of electrolyzed water, thus opening up the possibility of an electrolyzer in each home garage, or in service stations in residential areas.

Batteries presently available cannot be used effectively in automobiles because they are too heavy and too costly, Mr. Reid said in the same article. But he suggested that improvements can be attained in lead-acid batteries-improve ments which battery manufacturers have not been forced to make in the past because their present product meets the requirements of the present market. "Here is one area where research might make a major contribution,” Mr. Reid declared. "Another would be research and development leading to a wholly new secondary battery based on one of the light metals such as lithium, sodium, magnesium, or calcium with a nonaqueous electrolyte.” He added that this would be no easy task but, if successful, it would pay great dividends for other electrical storage systems as well as for electric automobiles.

Mr. Reid's article concluded that regenerative braking, traction motors specially designed for automobiles, controls, and auxiliaries all will need considerable development. In each of these areas, research could be justified leading to a final, practical prototype of an electric automobile.

NEW BATTERIES DEVELOPED Within the past year, two new types of electric storage batteries have been announced. In December, 1965, the Edison Electric Institute and General Dynamics announced a prototype zinc-air battery expected to be ready for testing soon. In February of this year Bulton Industries, Inc. announced the successful demonstration of a lithium battery that will be subjected to further development work. During the past decade, the traditional lead-acid battery found in every automobile and the industrial nickel-iron battery developed by Edison have been joined by the nickel-cadmium, nickel-silver, silver-zinc, silver-cadmium and mercury batteries. Developmental work also is going forward on sodium batteries.

An article on developments in electrochemical energy-conversion devices, batteries and fuel cells, by Dr. M. Barak of Chloride Technical Services Ltd., Swinton, Manchester, England, summarized recent progress in England, where batterypowered delivery trucks are extensively used, and where passenger vehicles are being designed for battery operation.

Dr. Barak concludes that development work must continue in the direction of lightweight fuel cells with higher outputs, lightweight traction motors, and possibly high-speed transmission before fuel-battery electric cars can become a practical reality.

He reported that over 100,000 electrically propelled vehicles are in operation in Great Britain, including industrial trucks used to transport materials and products in factories, commercial vehicles, mining locomotives, and so on.


The Electricity Council in Britain more recently predicted that within 10 Fears a million battery-driven automobiles will be in operation. There are four small electric cars being tested on London streets as a result of the Council's campaign to promote the electric vehicle: two British Motor Corp. “mini" cars, with the gasoline engine replaced by batteries and an electric motor; and two which were specially designed for electric operation by Scottish Aviation and Peel Engineering, according to a dispatch from London which appeared recently in the Chicago Tribune. The Scottish Aviation model, called the Scamp, and the Peel car, called the Trident, are expected to cost less than $1,000 when mass-produced. They can go only about 30 miles between recharging, at a top speed of about 40 miles an hour. Batteries weigh about 700 pounds in the two-passenger models.

The Electricity Council predicted that eventually parking meters will be wired to recharge batteries, although recharging would be done in garage sockets during night, using off-peak electric rates, in most cases.

It seems highly important to pursue the design of vehicles specifically for battery operation, as the British are doing. This approach may result in vehicles which are most suitable for specific uses, e.g., commuter travel to and from large cities, as well as in vehicles which make the most efficient use of battery power. Obviously the breakthrough to wide-scale use of electric vehicles will not come as a result only of fitting up standard model cars for battery operation. And a real breakthrough in terms of consumer acceptance must come if the battery-operated vehicle is to have an impact on the air pollution problem.


There are about 15 Federal agencies funding a total of 86 projects in battery research. Of thest, 21 are being performed in government laboratories, 14 are being performed by 10 universities, and 51 by 24 industrial companies. Manufacturing corporations also are conducting research. The Tennessee Valley Authority purchased a battery-operated electric car in 1961 for study and evaluation of the possible electric utility load buildup that could occur from public acceptance of such a vehicle. The car is a Renault Dauphine, with electric motor and batteries substituted for the gasoline engine.

After a series of tests on the car, which is called the Henney Kilowatt, it was concluded that commercial feasibility of the electric car “must await a substan

tial improvement in performance capability, particularly in the capacity to travel longer distances." A need for “major advances in storage battery technology" was noted in TVA's report on the Henney Kilowatt, but it was pointed out that research being carried out in connection with the national space program could make such advances possible.

In 1961, the Lead Industries Association of New York launched a campaign to increase the use of storage batteries as a source of electric power for industrial trucks, personnel carriers and other vehicles. The Association estimated that the electricity consumption of a single electric industrial truck would be 7,500 kilowatt hours per year, or more than five times as much as is used by a window air-conditioner. This gives an indication of the importance of the electric vehicle to an operating utility, particularly when we consider that the bulk of the recharging load would come during the night. when other loads would be very low. Several electric utilities have launched sales promotion campaigns to sell electric trucks, according to an article in the Aug. 23, 1965 issue of Electrical World magazine.


A leading proponent of electric autos to combat air pollution has been the Electric Storage Battery Company. The president of this firm, M. G. Smith, has called upon the President to "make recommendations for research and development of all kinds of non-polluting devices and spell out what both the federal government and private industry should do to get those devices built and used-universally and in the least possible time."

Mr. Smith declared that non-polluting, battery-powered vehicles for low-speed, low-mileage urban transportation are feasible right now.

This brief summary of developments is not intended to be comprehensive, but merely to indicate that there is widespread interest in the electric vehicle and a recognition that it can substantially reduce the air pollution problem, if it is used as an alternative to the gasoline-powered car in urban areas.

Widespread use of electric vehicles would require increased generation of electric power in order to re-charge the batteries of electric vehicles. In this connection, the question of air pollution from electric generating plants will be raised, and should be raised, in assessing the total impact of the use of electric vehicles on the pollution problem.

Unlike gasoline burning automobile engines, modern electric generating stations do not produce carbon monoxide, and the gas from stations is discharged into the upper atmosphere, not at street level where it directly contaminates the air people breathe. Furthermore, utilities now have very sophisticated equipment for controlling pollution.

In general, it would seem easier to regulate the discharge from a few hundred large generating plants than from millions of automobiles. The trend toward construction of larger plants, in more remote locations, will facilitate the regulation of generating plant pollution. Increasing use of nuclear fuel also will reduce the potential pollution from generating plants.

The members of our Association are fully aware of the pollution problem, as it is affected by the burning of fuels to produce electricity, and I am confident that they will cooperate in any reasonable plan to reduce or eliminate such pollution.

In addition to establishing a special committee to promote greater research which will lead to a "breakthrough” in mass markets and mass production of electric automobiles, our Association, at its annual Conference in Boston earlier this year adopted the following resolution by unanimous vote on May 12, 1966 :


Whereas, battery-powered passenger and other vehicles offer an alternative to vehicles powered by combustion engines, which create severe air pollution problems, and

Whereas, research currently under way indicates that economically feasible battery-powered vehicles can be developed within the near future if the electric industry and manufacturers push forward with an aggressive program of research and development, and

Whereas, the electric vehicle promises to provide an excellent off-peak load for electric utilities,

Yow, therefore, be it resolved: That the American Public Power Association urges a large-scale research and development effort to bring the electric vehicle to the market.

APPA hopes that your committee, in attacking the most pervasive source of air pollution, will recommend the kind of large-scale research and development effort necessary to make available a pollution-free means of transportation for our urban areas.

Our Association urges the committee's support for a two-pronged research and development effort. Such an effort would include both design of new vehicles suited for battery operation and development of lighter, longer-lasting, and less expensive batteries which can power the vehicles of the future.

Senator Mtskie. The hearings are recessed until tomorrow morning at 10 o'clock.

(Whereupon, at 11:55 a.m., the committee recessed, to reconvene at 10 a.m., Wednesday, June 8, 1966.)

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