1906 Waverley Pope Electric Car
What goes around comes around?
A Brief History of the Early Electric Car
At the start of the 20th century 40 percent of American automobiles were powered by steam, 38 percent by electricity and 22 percent by petrol. 33,842 electric cars were registered in the USA.
English inventor Thomas Parker, who was responsible for electrifying the London Underground, built the first production electric car in London in 1884, using his own specially designed high- capacity rechargeable batteries. He was probably concerned about the malign effects smoke and pollution were having in London.
The first-ever Porsche was an electric car designed by Ferdinand Porsche the 1898 “Egger-Lohner electric vehicle, C.2 Phaeton model”.
The Waverley Pope Electric was produced in the USA from 1896 to 1914 and was called “by far the best Electric on the market”. It was owned by such celebrities as Thomas Edison and William Horlick (creator of malted milk). In 1909 Waverley boasted its automotive output was the largest in the world and that its cars were “as swift as the speed laws of the average city will permit”.
A US fire department used one to respond to calls and found that the engine could be on the road less than 10 seconds after the alarm was sounded — and could go up hills and over poor quality roads at the breakneck speed of more than 10 mph.
The Waverley Pope was available in many different models. The Model 67 Victoria Phaeton had a leather top and sold for $1,600 in 1906. Our Phaeton has black leather fenders and electric coach lamps at the front and rear. Steering is performed via a tiller and power comes from a 60-volt DC motor driven by 5 x 12V Modern Gel Lead Acid batteries. It has a top speed of around 16mph on the flat with a range of 20-30 miles.
Charging & Range Anxiety
The “Electrant” or electric hydrant, made by General Electric was meant to make public charging as common as police call boxes and horse hitching posts. In the early 1900’s New York department stores had charging points for customers.
In order to overcome the limited operating range of electric vehicles, an exchangeable battery service was first proposed in 1896 and put into practice by the Hartford Electric Light Company. We carry a small modern petrol generator in the Waverley to make it into a hybrid!
The 1916 Woods Dual Power was a clever petrol/electric hybrid car that was remarkably sophisticated. It could run on petrol, electricity or both. It had regenerative braking, and it could also recharge its own batteries.
Decline of the Electric Car
Sales of electric cars peaked in the early 1910s. In 1915 the Ford Model T was selling for $490 and had a range of 200 miles on a tank of petrol. While the Waverley was for years synonymous with luxury, its slow speed began to annoy its drivers. In the long run, it simply could not compete with petrol-powered, low cost cars. In 1916 the Waverley Company closed its doors.
Waverley Photos (and videos shortly): https://adobe.ly/2usgfwC
Waverley History: https://goo.gl/NKTbM2
Woods Electric History: https://goo.gl/ueyj2F
Jay Lenos Baker Electric: https://goo.gl/wZdoap
Please email: firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. Our Waverley Pope is available for hire for events and special occasions.