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Last updated 2003.01.10
Items of Historical Interest in the Development and Commercialization of EVs
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Jack Frost Electric
Jamais Contente - see Jenatzy, Camille
Charles Jeantaud of 51 Rue de Ponthieu, Paris (France) produced electric cars from 1893 to 1906. An experimental electric car by Jeantaud dates from 1881. He also produced some gasoline-powered vehicles from 1904 to 1906. A Jeantaud vehicle established the world land speed record for the kilometre in December 1898 at 39.24 mph and again in 1899 at 43.69 mph. Production vehicles included a number of body types, but the majority of the vehicles produced were cabs. By 1903, the Jeantaud production vehicles were claiming a maximum speed of 12.5 mph and a range of 75 miles per charge. Early vehicles were rear-wheel drive, but production switched over to front-wheel drive in 1905. The rear-wheel drives tended to use a chain drive. In general, the vehicles used wheel steering (as opposed to tiller) and pneumatic tires. Jeantaud and Jenatzy were competitors in both the land speed record competitions in the production and sale of cabs. Jeantaud was the prime force in organizing the Paris Motor-Cab Trials (June 1898), which his vehicles won.
The Jeffery Roadster was produced by the Thomas B. Jeffery Co. of Kenosha WI. The company was later absorbed by Charles Nash Automobile Co. While this company was known for gasoline-powered cars, at least one hybrid version of the Roadster was reported in Montreal in the 1920's. It is not known if the car was a hybrid from the factory, or if this was a later modification to the car.
Camille Jenatzy of 222 Rue Du Progres, Brussels (Belgium) was a race car driver who also built a number cars, both electric and gasoline-powered, from 1898 to 1903. He is best remembered in electric car history for building the "Jamais Contente", a single-seater electric with a bullet-shaped body which took the land speed record in 1899 at 66 mph. He also designed electric cars and vans that were produced by the Compagnie Internationale des Transports Automobile of Paris (France) from 1899 to 1901. Beginning in 1901, he experimented with electric-gasoline hybrids, and production of these began in 1903 at Martini's factory in Belgium under the badge Jenatzy-Martini. The remains of the "Jamais Contente", without motors or batteries, is now in the holdings of the Compiegne museum in France.
Period artwork of the Jamais
Operating in Austin TX in the late 1970's and early 1980's, Jet Industries was known primarily for the conversion of a variety of vehicles to electric power, which were then marketed under their own name with new model names. They are believed to have produced several hundred conversions in total.
The Electrica was a Ford Escort converted to electric power. The 2-door hatchback version was used as the base vehicle. Later Electricas may have been based on the Ford Fiesta shell, and 10 of these were delivered to the United States Postal Service.
These vehicles were converted Dodge Omnis. Both 2-door and 4-door versions were converted, all providing a 4-seater passenger capacity. At least 70 were produced, probably considerably more.
Jet 500 Electravan
Jet 600 Electravan
This vehicle was a converted Subaru minivan. At least 100 were produced. Two were purchased by the Canadian federal government for a demonstration project, and subsequently sold in New Brunswick to 2 individuals. One was scrapped for parts and the other converted back to gasoline power.
Jet 750P Electravan (pickup)
This vehicle was a converted Ford Courier pickup truck. At least 90 were produced.
Jet 1000 Electravan
This vehicle was a converted Dodge full-size van. At least 25 were produced.
Jet 1000P Electravan
At least 30 of these pickup trucks were produced.
Jet 1400 Electravan
This vehicle was a converted Dodge Maxivan (extended full-size van). At least 10 were produced.
JMJ Electronics Corporation
Based in the United States, this company was best known for converting Dodge Omni's to electric power.
Electric Dodge D-50 (small pickup truck)
From 1899 to 1902, the National Motor Carriage Syndicate Ltd. of London (England) produced electric cars named for their designer, Mr. Henry M. Joel of Henry F. Joel & Co., 31 Wilson Street, Finsbury Square, E.C., Great Britain. The cars used 2 motors, driving the rear wheels independently via chains. The marque was best known for having completed the London to Brighton race on a single charge. Open and closed body styles were produced.
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