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Last updated 2012.03.19
Items of Historical Interest in the Development and Commercialization of EVs
- W -
W & E
This firm built electric and gasoline-electric hybrid trucks
from 1918 or earlier until at least 1942 in Chicago IL. The same
marque may have been manufactured by the Automobile Maintenance
Co. prior to this. A 1918 Model P 3.5-ton open cab version (serial
number 1686) is on display at the Hays Antique Truck Museum at
Woodland CA. The Walker 1 ton balance drive electric truck was
used by distinctive stores and manufacturers to deliver goods in
towns. The van is driven by an electric motor developing 3 1/2
h.p. it had a range of around 50-60 miles on a single charge and
could reach speeds of 12 mph. The only known working example is
owned by Harrods Limited of Knightsbridge London and it still
takes part in the annual historical commercial vehicle London to
The Ward Motor Vehicle Co. of New York City NY produced the
Ward electric from 1914 to 1916. This car was a 2-door, 4-seater
with an enclosed body. It claimed a range of 100 miles per charge.
The firm appears to have moved to Mount Vernon NY and continued to
produce electric trucks into at least the 1920s. An example of a
W.S.2 Electric Van (small electric delivery van - circa 1920)
built by the Ward Motor Vehicle Company is in the collection of
the Canadian National Museum of Science and Technology. The museum
claims the vehicle had a top speed of 38 km/h (29 mph).
The Ward Leonard Electrical Co. of Bronxville NY built an electric car from 1901 to 1903.
Waterbury Motor Company
Waterbury Solar-Electric Car
There is no evidence that this vehicle ever got beyond the
concept stage. The brainchild of Nelson J. Waterbury, the idea was
likely a response to the 1973 OPEC oil embargo. A promotional
booklet was produced for the vehicle, but that is probably the
most concrete form the vehicle ever took. The eight pages of the
booklet are reproduced here (from my personal collection of
memorabilia). The booklet is undated, but is likely circa 1974
based on the content. The text is presented in both English and
Waterman, Chandler H. - see U.S. Electricar
The Waverley Co. of Indianapolis IN produced the Waverley
electric car from 1896 until 1914. From 1903 to 1907, these were
sold as the Pope-Waverley (see also). While a variety of models
were offered over the years, most were closed body types with 2
doors and 4-seaters. There is a 1903 Waverley in the holdings of
the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn MI.
W & E Vehicles
Producers of the Lectricar II (conversion of the Datsun 310) and Lektrikr pickups (conversion of the Datsun pickup truck) in the late 1970's to early 1980's, based in Las Vegas NV.
Content of Marketeer Owners Manual
Westinghouse S.A. (Spain)
Electric Seat 127
Produced by Hope Automobil Industri of Denmark, beginning in
1984. The vehicle claimed a cruising speed of 100 km/h and a range
of 110 km on a charge. While the vehicle was marketed in North
America, it appears that few were sold in North America.
Partridge-Wilson (see also) of Leicester (England) were known primarily as the builders of commercial electric vehicles (such as milk delivery floats) until at least the mid-1950's. In 1935 and 1936 they also produced an electric car under the Wilson marque, a 2-door with a long hood with styling comparable to gasoline-powered cars of the period. There may have been as many as fifty of these cars produced, which claimed a range of 40 miles per charge and a top speed of 27 mph.
A fleet of these tiny 2-seater electric cars was set up in
Amsterdam in the 1970's. Members of a co-operative were entitled
to pick up one of the vehicles at any of a number of charging
stations around Amsterdam, and drop the vehicle off at any other
station. The vehicles were owned collectively, not privately.
These vehicles used nickel-cadmium batteries.
The Woods Motor Vehicle Co. of Chicago IL produced electric cars from 1899 to 1919, making it one of the longest-lived EV producers of the early 1900's. It made a variety of models, including the 1917 Woods Dual Power - a parallel hybrid that included a 12-hp, 4-cylinder gasoline engine as an auxilliary drive system in addition to the electric drive train. Top speed in electric-only mode was reported as 20 mph, while a speed of 35 mph could be reached with both drive systems engaged. There is a 1916 Woods Dual Power (hybrid) in the holdings of the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn MI.
Notes from W. Zablosky:
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