In 1959, Electric Vehicles Were “Closer Than We Think”

4 years ago by Eric Loveday 4

Detroit-based commercial illustrator Arthur Radebaugh presents the EV of the future

Detroit-based commercial illustrator Arthur Radebaugh presents the EV of the future

There’s the bubbly electric of the future.

Back in 1959, noted illustrator Arthur Radebaugh dreamed up this outrageously stylish EV.

Radebaugh had some radical ideas

Radebaugh had some radical ideas

At the time, Radebaugh envisioned this plug-in as the vehicle families across America would cruise the town in.

This image ran in 1959 in the Chicago Tribune’s Sunday comic section under the title of “Closer Than We Think.”  As the title clearly suggests, Radebaugh believed electric vehicles were right around the corner.

His vision was accurate.  The timing?  Not quite.

Here are the words (courtesy of Chicago Tribune) posted with the Radebaugh illustration of the “Closer Than We Think” plug-in:

Americans soon may see a new kind of family second car — run by batteries, boasting hot rod agility, and of adequate size and speed for limited distance use.

Stinson Aircraft at San Diego and the Washington Water Power company, Spokane, have working models. A Detroit auto manufacturer also has a big project in this field.

These electro-cars will run about 70 miles between chargings, which can be done on any home socket. Also planned are roadway chargers, similar to parking meters, which will give a fast charge for a quarter.

Source: Gizmodo

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4 responses to "In 1959, Electric Vehicles Were “Closer Than We Think”"

  1. Stuart22 says:

    Well, it seems he got the falcon wing doors right. People back then also thought atomic energy would take us into a future of cheap, abundant electric power.

  2. Ocean Railroader says:

    Gas was around $0.25 to $0.30 gallon around this time and cars got around ten miles or less a gallon.

    What is nice about this car is that they said it could go 70 miles on a charge but now cars can go 300 on a charge. But as for this car it would be cool if someone built a real life version of this car as a conversation piece in that it is always cool to see how they viewed the world would be like in 50 years from their point of view.

  3. vdiv says:

    Wow! Looks like not only the battery was swappable, but the whole rear-end with the motor and wheels would come off. Not to be mean to Tesla, but look at that frunk and those eyas doors. Hey, is that a J1772 plug?

    That loop antenna on the top of the plexiglass dome must have been an AM reception killer to listen to Elvis. 🙂