had electric delivery trucks in the 1920s and 30s.
Many electric delivery vehicles were used in big cities into the 1960s.
problem with electrics was slow speed and short range.
it is a mystery car once demonstrated by Nikola Tesla,
of alternating current, that might have made electrics triumphant.
by the Pierce-Arrow Co. and General Electric in 1931.
1930, Nikola Tesla asked his nephew, Petar Savo, who was born in Yugoslavia
to come to New York. Petar was 43 years younger than his uncle.
Up to that date, he had lived under stringent conditions in Yugoslavia, Tesla's
country of birth. During the summer of 1931,
took his nephew to Buffalo to unveil and test a new automobile. Tesla had
developed it with his own personal funds.
was a Pierce Arrow, one of the luxury cars of the period.
engine had been removed, leaving the clutch, gearbox and transmission to the
rear wheels undisturbed.
gasoline engine had been replaced with a round, completely enclosed electric
motor of approximately 1 meter in length and 65 cm in diameter,
with a cooling fan in front. Reputedly, it had no distributor.
was not willing to say who had manufactured the engine. It was possibly one
of the divisions of Westinghouse.
"energy receiver" (gravitational energy converter) had been built
by Nikola Tesla himself.
The dimensions of the converter housing were approximately 60 X 25 X 15 cm.
It was installed in front of the dashboard. Among other things, the converter
contained 12 vacuum tubes,
of which three were of the 70-L-7 type. A heavy antenna, approximately 1.8
meters long, came out of the converter.
antenna apparently had the same function as that on the Moray converter
two thick rods protruded approximately 10 cm from the converter housing.
pushed them in, saying "Now we have power." the motor achieved a
maximum of 1,800 rpm.
said it was fairly hot when operating, and therefore a cooling fan was required.
the rest, he said there was enough power in the converter to illuminate an
entire house, besides running the car engine.
car was tested for a week, reaching a top speed of 90 miles per hour effortlessly.
Its performance data were at least comparable to those of an automobile using
a stop sign, a passerby remarked that there were no exhaust gases coming from
the exhaust pipe.
answered "We have no motor."
responses included charges of "black magic," and the sensitive
genius didn't like the skeptical comments of the press.
removed his mysterious box, returned to his laboratory in New York - and
the secret of his power source died with him !