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Full electric racing cars (especially pre war)


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#1 HistoryFan

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Posted 07 January 2014 - 14:01

Next year there will be a racing series with full electric racing cars (Formula E).

 

But in the first years of racing there were also full electric racing cars.

There was a electric car in Paris-Bordeux-Paris. There were two full electric cars in the entry list: Charles Jeanteaud with his Jeanteaud (don't know whether he startet) and a unnamed driver with his Bogard (did not finish).

Where there more full ectric racing cars? Where there also some in Gordon Benett Cup or even in Grand Prix Racing? When was the last electric car driven? Has someone a list of such cars and some details?

 

I heard that in Europe the cars with petrol were dominated in short time, in 1896 there was not full electric racing car in the race Paris-Bordeaux-Paris again. But there was a race in Long Island in 1900 which was won by Andrew L. Riker in a Riker Electric car. He needed two hours for 80 kilometres, which is 39.09 km/h.



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#2 D-Type

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Posted 07 January 2014 - 15:05

The problem with electric cars has always been the same.  Batteries (accumulators) are heavy and the range of an electric car is limited by the capacity of the weight of batteries it can carry. 

 

Electric cars, such as the Jeantaud, were able to set speed records but couldn't sustain the speed over any significant distance.  They therefore proved to be unsuitable for town-to-town races.



#3 Vitesse2

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Posted 07 January 2014 - 15:26

http://forums.autosp...ic-racing-cars/



#4 Roger Clark

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Posted 07 January 2014 - 15:43

Gerald Rose says of the Paris-Bordeaux race:

The Jentaud electric six-seated car was unfortunate, as it did not get far owing to a damaged axle. It weighed about 2200 Kgm, was fitted with 38 Fulmen Type C 21 accumulators, each weighing 15 kgm, in 12 boxes. The motor was of 7 HP, weighing 225 kgm taking 70 amperes at 70 volts. The car had double transverse front springing, not unlike the Peugeots. It possessed a two-speed gear, and was chain driven. M. Jentaud had gone to considerable trouble and expense in his arrangements for the race, and had even sent his 15 battery relays on by special train to his relay station.

He says that Jentaud retired near Orleans and was the only electric car taking part.

#5 Michael Ferner

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Posted 07 January 2014 - 19:10

The Bogard was described as not ready, and failed to start, while the Jeantaud, as Roger says, retired soon after the start, actually completing only about 100 of the roughly 1,200 km total distance. Its retirement was not due to its specification, although the excess weight may have contributed to the breaking of an axle. It was probably the heaviest car in the competition, weighing in at 2,200 kg, with the big P&L bus and the De Dion-Bouton tractor next, both at about 1,800 kg - maybe the Amédée Bollée was heavier, I'm not sure (I haven't found reliable info for all entries). For comparison, the two-seaters didn't weigh much more than 600 kg, and some of the four-seaters less than 800, while the Petrolette can't have weighed more than, perhaps, 200 kg. The performance of the Jeantaud wasn't very encouraging, either: it lay about 16th place at the first control point, with an average speed just over 10 kph - the leaders were running more than twice as fast at the time!

 

In Europe, electric cars vanished from the sport soon after, except for sprints and hill climbs, but in America they ran quite competitively in short track and even in road races for a few more years. However, with the advent of state-of-the-art European cars in the US in the first years of the 20th century, they became rapidly obsolete. The story of the "petroleum cartel" is a nice one, but not entirely correct - the internal combustion engine was simply capable of making bigger strides in development! Except for its ecological footprint, the electric engine is simply no match for its gasoline counterpart.



#6 HistoryFan

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Posted 07 January 2014 - 19:59

Interesting details, thank you.

 

In  1894 there were more different engine types than only the three in Paris-Bordeaux-Paris race in 1895...



#7 D-Type

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Posted 07 January 2014 - 21:48

Interesting details, thank you.

 

In  1894 there were more different engine types than only the three in Paris-Bordeaux-Paris race in 1895...

Really!  What were the other types?



#8 Vitesse2

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Posted 07 January 2014 - 22:17

Really!  What were the other types?

I assume he's referring to some of the wonderfully speculative entries in the Paris-Rouen, whose motive power was said to be variously 'hydraulic', 'compressed air', 'multiple system of levers', 'weight of passengers', 'system of pendulums', 'system of pedals', 'automatic', 'liquides combinés', 'semi-electric', 'electro-pneumatic', 'gas and pendulum', 'constant propulsion motor', 'high pressure gas' and the splendid concept of 'combination of animate and mechanical motor'.



#9 tlc356

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Posted 08 January 2014 - 02:57

If I remember correctly, there was an electric car shown at the 1900 Paris expo (or some name like that) which was entered in and won the race for those cars at the race that was held the next day. The 25 year old designer of the car was named Ferdinand Porsche and the car was the Lohner/Porsche. Soon Porsche used gasoline engines alongwith electric for his cars which I think give them the claim on the first hybrid.   


Edited by tlc356, 08 January 2014 - 02:57.