Electric Vehicle And The Burden Of Historyby David Kirsch
Pub. Date: 08/01/2000
Publisher: Rutgers University Press
Why is it we gas up rather than plug in our cars? Will we ever drive electric cars?In the late 1890s, at the dawn of the automobile era, steam, gasoline, and electric cars all competed to become the dominant automotive technology. By the early 1900s, the battle was over and internal combustion had won. Was the electric car ever a viable competitor? David A. Kirsh… See more details below
Why is it we gas up rather than plug in our cars? Will we ever drive electric cars?In the late 1890s, at the dawn of the automobile era, steam, gasoline, and electric cars all competed to become the dominant automotive technology. By the early 1900s, the battle was over and internal combustion had won. Was the electric car ever a viable competitor? David A. Kirsh examines the relationship of technology, society, and environment to system choice and economic growth in the history of American transportation. He takes the history of the Electric Vehicle Company as a starting point for a vision would each have been used to supply different kinds of transport services. Kirsh argues that technological superiority ultimately was located in the hearts and minds of engineers, consumers, and drivers; it was not programmed inexorably into the chemical bonds of a gallon of refined petroleum. Finally, Kirsch connects the historic choice of internal combustion over electricity to current debates about the social and environmental impacts of the automobile, the introduction of new hybrid vehicles, and the continuing evolution of the American transportation system.
"A comprehensive and insightful treatment of the history of the electric vehicle. This is not only an interesting and well-researched historical account, but is also highly relevant to today's effort to return to electric powered vehicles." - William J. Perry, Stanford University, and former US secretary of defense.
"David Kirsch has compiled a fascinating, insightful account of how far the electric vehicle has come and how little has changed in one hundred years. The struggle to commercialize the electric car continues, much as it did at the turn of the last century. This time, however, there is a far stronger imperative: the health of the planet itself." - Bill Moore, editor of EV World.Com.
"Why did noisy and smelly internal combustion vehicles beat out quiet and smooth-running electric cars? For historians, policy makers and environmentalists the electric vehicle is the preeminent example of 'a path not taken." In this original and remarkable book, David A. Kirsh explains the rise and fall of the electric vehicle in terms of both the business strategy of electric vehicle manufacturers as well as the expectations and behavior of consumers. Ultimately, Kirsch suggests that the success of electric vehicles- in the past and in the future- rests not in technological improvements, but rather in how we choose to define what constitutes satisfactory individual mobility." - W. Bernard Carlson, University of Virginia.
- Rutgers University Press
- Publication date:
- Edition description:
- New Edition
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- Product dimensions:
- 6.14(w) x 9.21(h) x 0.64(d)
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