Saturday, 25 February 2017

Lessons From History


There has been much a to do made, as of late, regarding the notion of electrically powered automobiles. Initially coming to wide public attention in the earlier portion of the second millennium, early hopes of wide availability were to soon be dashed, largely on the account of a concerted campaign lobbied by the traditional automotive industry. It was not until the advent, some years later, of Tesla motors, a venture launched with the guidance and financial backing of one Elon Musk. A known man of means and no small faculty or guile, well acquainted with the tactics on the more dastardly side of commerce. Alas, all was not as it seemed and, in addition to the myriad logistical complications including the infrastructure to provide a sufficient supply of power, other more intangibles have arisen casting the future success of the venture into doubt. A situation easily foreseen by those with a firm grasp of history as the notion of the electrified automobile, in fact, dates back to the time before the commercially popular petrol powered model was the dominant power. There was indeed much speculation as to which of the two modes available would become the dominant. The first electrically powered automobile commercially available was produced by the Baker corporation in 1909. Particularly popular in larger metropolitan centres such as New York City, power charging stations as common as petrol stations in contemporary times. Alas, the situation was then as it is now and particular short-comings in terms of driving range and ability to charge reared their fangs. Endeavors were swiftly undertaken to attempt and correct these issues, yet history can be cruel even to the virtuous and, due in large part to the arrival of one Henry Ford and the availability of gasoline in more rural quarters where electricity did not reach, by the time the issues with the Baker were rectified, the gasoline engine had come to dominant and had yet to be usurped.

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