On December 10, 1908 at 1:00 PM, Oliver Fritchle arrived in Washington, DC in his “100 Mile Fritchle Electric” completing a 2,140 mile trip from Lincoln, Nebraska. Nearly 60 years would go by until an electric vehicle would travel farther than Fritchle.
In September, 1967, the Arizona Public Service Co. bought an electric car called the MARS II built by Electric Fuel Propulsion Inc. in Detroit, Michigan and drove it 2,226 miles to Phoenix. It was promoted as “the first cross-country trip of an electric car in the United States.”
Coincidentally, O. P. Fritchle’s nephew, Merrill Fritchle, lived in Phoenix and read of the claim in the Arizona Republic. He contacted the paper and presented evidence that the first cross-country electric vehicle journey was actually accomplished by his late uncle, Oliver P. Fritchle 59 years earlier.
The Arizona Republic reviewed the documentation of Fritchle’s trip and on October 19, 1967, they published a story with details of Fritchle’s decades-old electric tour along with comments from his nephew, who said, “If my uncle was so far advanced with electric transportation 50 years ago, I wonder what refinements we might have today, had all the research gone toward electric propulsion, instead of gasoline.”
Charging the “100-Mile Fritchle Electric” at Gilpins Falls in Cecil County, MD on Dec. 7, 1908
When Oliver P. Fritchle left Wilmington, Delaware the morning of December 7, 1908, he expected an easy 82 mile jaunt to Baltimore in his fully charged 100-Mile Fritchle Electric.
“O. P.” as his friends called him, was so confident in his car’s ability that he didn’t even bother to ask about charging stations that might be along the way.
Fritchle had already driven his Victoria coupe nearly 2,000 miles from Lincoln, Nebraska via New York City to demonstrate the durability and range of the electric vehicle that his company manufactured in Denver for wealthy customers which later included “The Unsinkable” Molly Brown. The only repairs the car had needed was fixing a flat tire in Illinois and a new set of camel’s hair brake linings after descending the Allegheny Mountains in Pennsylvania.
With sparse electrical distribution in rural areas, Fritchle quickly learned how to handle “range anxiety” such as on the evening he found himself on a muddy road pushing to reach the town of Avoca, Iowa.
Fearing that with the many strains of the day the battery might run down completely before reaching Avoca, I asked the farmer to accompany me with a horse and wagon, that he might tow me if necessary. To this request his wife, who overheard the conversation, replied: “No, sir, Pa, you don’t dare tow one of them automobiles. Didn’t you just read in the Des Moines paper ’bout one of them things explodin’ and killin’ a man?” I endeavored to convince “Ma,” who was standing in the dim light in an adjoining room, with a bed quilt over her shoulders, that my auto was an electric machine, and that there was no danger of it exploding. But my pleading was all in vain, so I told them to go to hell, and started off alone, reaching Avoca at 10 0 ‘clock Sunday night.
Howard County, Maryland celebrated National Drive Electric Week at Clarksville Commons on Saturday, September 16, 2017.
Local EV drivers gathered in the courtyard with about a dozen electric cars representing a variety of plug-in electric vehicles that are available to buy or lease in Maryland, plus a unique home-built electric car made by a local enthusiast using batteries from a Nissan LEAF. The EV drivers happily explained their experience with electric cars to curious members of the community who streamed through the Commons all afternoon.
A representative from the Howard County Office of Community Sustainability explained the active role that the County is taking in supporting plug-in electric vehicles including charging stations at some County facilities, EVs in their fleet and new, all-electric buses with induction charging, the first of their kind in the nation.
In addition to the EV drivers, representatives from local dealerships were on hand including, Winn Kelly Chevrolet, Antwerpen Nissan and Apple Ford, to arrange test drives and explain the available federal and state tax incentives.
The host site, Clarksville Commons, is a retail and office complex developed by an electric vehicle owner who designed the facility with environmental sustainability as an important element. They offer four EV charging stations, solar panels help supply the power, and water collection and reuse are employed in the buildings.
There’s plenty of enthusiasm for electric vehicles in Howard County as shown by the energy of the attendees on Saturday. Expect to see more soon.
Lanny for @PlugInSites
Ribbon Cutting and EV Cruise on Monday, August 28, 2017 at 11:00 AM.
EV drivers are being invited to participate in the ribbon cutting ceremony and short EV Cruise to officially open the Tesla and universal EV charging stations in Lewes, Delaware.
The tentative schedule for Monday, August 28, 2017:
11:00 Meet at charging stations at Lewes Board of Public Works facility at 225 Schley Avenue, Lewes, DE 19958.
11:15 Begin Electric Vehicle Cruise planned to loop through town and end at Otis Smith Park EV Charging Stations.
11:45 Assemble at Otis Smith Park, 454 E. Savannah Rd, Lewes, DE 19958.
12:00 Lewes Board of Public Works ribbon cutting with local, state, and national dignitaries. Local and regional media will also be there.
Do you have nerves of steel when it comes to range anxiety? Then the Tesla Owners Club of Australia has the trip for you. The group is planning a Meetup in the middle of Australia, 2,000 kilometers from the nearest Supercharger.
The club, which is part of the Tesla Owners Club program, will be displaying cars at the Alice Springs desertSMART Ecofair, August 11-13, 2017. Members willing to make the drive are advised to bring a variety of adapters for their Tesla charging cable for connecting at fairgrounds and road houses along the route.
Club members will drive from Sydney, Melbourne and other points and rendezvous in Adelaide, South Australia on August 8th to start the trek north to Alice Springs.
The announcement warns that the charging options are untested north of Port Augusta and it is about 2,500 km to Alice Springs and back with zero Tesla charging infrastructure.
*****Please bring your pioneering spirit!!*****
Given the nature of this event, you are responsible for all aspects of your own, and your vehicle’s welfare and on this trip.
More info: Alice Springs MeetUp and EcoFair display.
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First Customer Deliveries Began on June 22, 2012
Five years ago today, Tesla delivered the first batch of Model S cars to about a dozen customers. The event was held at the Tesla Factory in Fremont, California and was streamed live. At the time, there were about 2,300 Tesla Roadsters on the road. Five years later, Tesla has sold over 100,000 Model S sedans and over 25,000 Model X SUVs. The first deliveries of Tesla’s Model 3 are scheduled to begin next month.
Here are some photos of the reception and viewing party held at the Washington, DC Tesla Store on K Street on the evening of those first Model S deliveries.
Howard County will be adding electric bus service to their Green Line route. It will use inductive charging while stopped to load passengers.
The inductive high-speed charging equipment is already in place at the bus stop on the east side of the Mall in Columbia. The 50 kW Momentum Wireless Power fast chargers are made by Momentum Dynamics of Malvern, Pennsylvania.
Induction charging pad at bus stop.
Seeing Ahead for the Electric Vehicle
An Interview with Thomas A. Edison
Originally published in Electrical World – January 6, 1917
“The growth of the electric vehicle has been hindered by lack of charging facilities. Selling electric current is a mercantile business just like any other business. Not enough central stations realize this and very few search out every way that current may be marketed. As a result, undeveloped markets exist for the sale of central station energy. It’s a funny business when so few central stations realize that there is a waiting market for the sale of current for charging electric cars. The public is in the curious position of wanting to buy something for which there is no place to go.
“In my opinion the central station should go into the garage business and provide in this way the best means of furnishing a place to which the customer can go to buy what he wants, electric current, in the form of mileage.
We recently joined a group of Tesla drivers who gathered in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania to drive through the battlefield following the self-guided Auto Tour. We were not the first electric cars to tour the famous Civil War site.
On November, 25, 1908, Oliver Fritchle stopped in Gettysburg on his 1800 mile drive from Lincoln, Nebraska to New York City in his “100 Mile Fritchle Electric” that his company manufactured at a factory in Denver, Colorado. His trip was staged to demonstrate the long distance capability and durability of his electric car and batteries.
When Fritchle pulled up to the Eagle Hotel in Gettysburg at 3:00 that rainy afternoon, a battlefield guide named Harry Gilbert offered his services. Gilbert was the son of a veteran of the Battle of Gettysburg and his father still lived in town. Fritchle and Gilbert toured the Gettysburg battlefield in the car and took pictures of points of interest. Two of those photos are shown above along with the same scene today shown with a Tesla Model S.
Gettysburg did not have an electric vehicle charging station in 1908 so Fritchle charged at the power house for the electric street car system. He converted the system’s 500 volts using an improvised rheostat made from running the current through a barrel of water. Article on Water-Rheostat Construction.
“NJ Charging Challenge: Electrify Your Workplace” program launched to recognize employers who install EV charging.
The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) wants to recognize the employers in New Jersey that are making their workplaces “Electric Vehicle-Ready.”
By providing workplace charging for electric vehicles, these employers are becoming more sustainable and are helping to reduce emissions of air pollutants from cars, improve the environment and improve the bottom line for their employees that drive to work. All employers are invited to participate, whether private, government, educational or non-profit.
How to qualify for recognition:
- Install a minimum of 2 charging stations (Level 1/120 Volt or Level 2/240 Volt).
- Installations as early as January 1, 2015 will be accepted.
- Complete an NJ Charging Challenge application form and submit with proof of installation to DriveGreen@dep.nj.gov.
- Parking spaces must be dedicated to charging station use only.
- Recognition will include a certificate from the Department, as well as website recognition.
- All applicants who meet the qualifications will receive recognition, but the top performers in the Charging Challenge will be honored at the Governor’s Environmental Excellence Awards ceremony at the end of the year.
For more information, visit www.drivegreen.nj.gov/programs.html