110th Anniversary of an Epic Cross Country EV Tour
When Oliver P. Fritchle rode his 100-Mile Electric into New York City on November 28, 1908, it was a sensation.
1,800 miles from Lincoln, Nebraska. In an electric car! How was that possible?
The New York Times published a story under the headline: FROM NEBRASKA IN ELECTRIC AUTO – O. P. Fritchle Accomplishes Long Tour in Car of His Own Make.
The newspaper proclaimed, “Mr. Fritchle’s trip served the useful purpose of establishing the fact that an electric car, capable of going no more than 100 miles average on one charging, can actually be driven across the country and can find sufficient charging stations to keep it going.”
Fritchle staged his trip to demonstrate the long distance capability and durability of the electric car and batteries that his company manufactured in Denver. He had invited all other electric vehicle manufacturers to join him for a race between Lincoln, Nebraska and New York, saying they “should hail this opportunity for proving the efficiency of electric automobiles for touring purposes.” No one accepted the challenge so he set off alone. Read More …
Electric car owners Jonathan Slade and Novia Campbell drove from the mountains of western Maryland to the boardwalk at Ocean City in an all-electric Nissan Leaf in the summer of 2012 when there was very little EV charging infrastructure. The Emmy award winning PBS program they produced about their journey is now available to view on YouTube.
One of the goals of the documentary was to show the viability of an electric vehicle for everyday use. If they could drive an all-electric car from Oakland, Maryland all the way to Ocean City, then perhaps viewers would realize that an electric car could serve their commute and daily errands. Read More …
Blink Charging Company has filed a registration statement (Form S-1) with the Securities and Exchange Commission for a public offering. The Registration Statement was filed with the SEC on January 11, 2018.
Blink’s stock is presently quoted on the OTC Pink Current Information Marketplace under the symbol “CCGI”. According to the SEC filing, Blink’s common stock was quoted as $5.25 on January 10, 2018. They have applied to be listed on The NASDAQ under the symbol “BLNK”. Read More …
Newark & Milford Tesla Superchargers Opened Five Years Ago
The first East Coast Tesla Superchargers officially opened five years ago on December 21, 2012.
The Supercharger Stations at the Delaware Welcome Center in Newark and at the Milford Travel Plazas on I-95 in Connecticut were the first to be built outside of California. These two locations enabled Model S drivers to travel between Washington, DC and Boston using Tesla’s exclusive fast chargers. Before these opened, only six Supercharger sites existed in the world, all six were in California. Five years later in 2017, Tesla reports 1,043 Supercharger Stations with 7,496 Superchargers worldwide. Read More …
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.”
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.
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.
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.