Before Tesla… 1960s/70s EVs & Hybrids

Before Tesla… 1960s/70s EVs & Hybrids


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You might not think it, but the 60s and 70s were a hot bed of innovation in electric car design. Environmental and political events collided that got people questioning our reliance on the internal combustion engine and thinking about alternatives. So why was so much effort put into electric cars when so few people bought them, and how close did we come to perfecting hybrid and EV technology?

#Amitron #Electrovair #Electrovette

55 Comments on "Before Tesla… 1960s/70s EVs & Hybrids"


  1. Definitely enjoy vid👍it be interesting to what USA car companies do next with more stringent emissions laws coming in, I bet will see more hybrid cars n truck instead of electric as Tesla don’t have range when towing n in Australia we don’t have enough electricity supply for houses let alone electric vehicles.

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  2. I remember seeing the AMC electric car at a nuclear power display in 1974. The idea of super cheap electricity from nuclear plants (Okay, that didn't work out), plus a car that didn't need gas (this was right after the OPEC embargo) seemed to go together.

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  3. Would be fun to even explore the early era of the motorcar, when electric cars we're also very popular in towns.

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  4. This channel is getting better and better, great video as always! Somehow, I think old Isetta should made a EV version, that would be cute.

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  5. Love the little commuter van, imo its such a shame its taken so long for the tech to evolve considering its always been there, and alot of it is down to pricing as they are too expensive for the normal working man/woman , although i do wonder how things would have looked if it all had really taken off back then and how not just different cars would be today but how healthy we and our planet would be

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  6. Well I can also recall soviet electric minibuses/cars from 1970's still the technology wasn't that advanced to build a good and (main thing) cheap car. Nowadays we need this kind of cars to reduce air pollution.

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  7. The delivery van at 5:20 isn't diesel or petrol powered, it's an electric Nissan NV200. 😉 But great video, as always!

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  8. Another beauty Andy, very Interesting viewing all the concepts which would probably have been more viable using today's computer control systems and better batteries.

    One car you might include in a post 1970s video is the 6 wheeled 1980 concept from, of all people, Briggs and Stratton.

    This was closer to a real car but once again probably 30 years too early for the technology which would (probably) have made it viable. People laughed at the Prius but Toyota had the balls to get it right, and more importantly market it, whatever it may/may not be, it's a step in the right direction and 10/10 for that.

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  9. 9.48 looks just like the Alfetta GTV. Electric vehicles need to run on renewable energy (solar/wind) only or it defeats the object.

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  10. Very interesting and well presented. It’s funny that the electric starter motor killed the electric car. My daily driver is a Prius. Thanks from Orlando Florida

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  11. Love that 60's intro background music! BTW, I thought this was going to be an exclusively Brit-brand focussed, (which would be great, it's not a complaint) but I DO enjoy this generalist approach greatly. Just as an example, that Citroen SM video was just too delicious for words, and this one is really fascinating too! Thanks!

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  12. Oil companies, thats why. Control the oil flow for maximum profit. I want to convert my 2006 Ford Fusion from a 1.6 Petrol to electric. I have solar power, so it would be perfect

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  13. Hey Big Car you should due a video on the demise of the worse engine design made from 1977-1985 Oldsmobile Diesel 350 5.7L V-8 these almost bankrupted GM in the early 1980's will recall after recall. The GM notouries X car platform Chevrolet Citation Citation II Oldsmobile Omega Buick Skylark and Pontiac Phoenix all of these cars suffered brake recalls were the brakes would fall off the car. These also had a crap load of safety recalls  bad seat belt retractors etc. These two GM ideas put GM near bankruptcy by 1981. By 1984 X cars were decent but the public was not forgiving and died off a year later in 1985. This would make a good video

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  14. Back in the early twentieth century there were as many electric and steam powered cars as there were petrol. For quite a few years petrol wasn’t the front runner in popularity. The demand for greater range was what tipped the scales. From that point on electric cars were doomed to the curiosity bin. Personally I don’t believe electric cars are the environmentally friendly gift people think. All they do is shift the location of the pollution. If you think electricity is green just remember that the ‘biomass’ used in our ex coal power stations is actually wood pellets from millions of trees cut down in Virginia USA.

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  15. This was a brilliant video The Jaguar I-Pace is now the best premium electric car. It's nice that the UK is back on top with this technology.

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  16. This’s by far one of the favorite episodes. Photos of GM electric vehicles is like scene from Wacky Races.

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  17. Yeah. so we know what was going in West Europe and in the US. Even the completely non-realistic prototypes are mentioned.

    Meanwhile in Russia a short series of elecric Zhiguli was produced and a couple of them are still to be seen on the road in Ukraine – yet there is no word on that in the movie 🙁

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  18. IIRC there was a plan that instead of charging the battery you'd swap it for a fully charged one at a filling station, like camping gas cylinders. Of course there wasn't the infrastructure and the manufacturers couldn't agree on a standard battery.

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  19. OK, there were many electric milk delivery vehicles but no mention of the most prolific ( global) electric vehicle technology…. Forklift trucks, most are capable of working through a full 8 hour work period, trundling about & lifting heavy loads.

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  20. Errata: The "petrol" milk float at 5:20 is actually an electric Nissan e-NV200.
    Missing cars: The electric "Witkar" or white car project in Amsterdam in the 70s and beyond: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Witkar
    The US 1959 Henney Kilowatt based on the Renault Dauphine: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henney_Kilowatt
    The 1967 Scottish "Scamp": https://www.scotsman.com/lifestyle-2-15039/scotland-s-forgotten-car-the-scamp-1-3942043

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  21. 6:18 Whoa, hang on – isn't that thing based on a Vauxhall Chevette? I know the basic shell existed in other forms, but that thing is new to me.

    Edit: Ah, should have waited to 11:48…

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