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Saturday
Jun202009

Chrysler VP Predicts Solar-Powered Cars (1958)

The current crisis in the American auto industry has led to louder (though long-standing) charges that it did not do enough to produce fuel-efficient vehicles using cutting-edge automotive technologies. Given Chrysler's bankruptcy filing, and recent sale to Fiat, it seems appropriate that we look at what the auto industry was telling the American public about the future of cars 50 years ago.

This February 9, 1958 edition of the sunday strip Closer Than We Think by Arthur Radebaugh quotes James C. Zeder, a Chrysler vice-president. Mr. Zeder predicted that in the years ahead solar-powered cars would be feasible and that the expanding knowledge of nuclear and solar energy would bring more abundant power to people everywhere. The full text of the strip appears below. As always, thanks to Tom Z. for the color version of this panel.

Detroit, Feb. 7 -- The automobile industry may be producing cars driven by solar power in the years ahead, James C. Zeder, Chrysler vice-president, predicted today.

"We know how to get electrical energy from sunlight by means of silicon converters," said the Chrysler engineering expert. "If we continue to increase the efficiency of these converters, and if we are able to develop small, efficient energy storage cells solar powered cars will be feasible."

Zeder added that expanding knowledge of nuclear and solar energy is "bringing into sight" more abundant power for people everywhere.

SUNRAY SEDAN

Tomorrow the sunmobile may replace the automobile. The power of bottled sunshine will propel it. Your solar sedan will take energy from sunrays and store it in accumulators that work like a battery. This power will drive your car just like gasoline does today.

Previously on Paleo-Future:

 

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Reader Comments (11)

Of the many things I wanted from my future past was the arcing overhead highway
passing the giant glass skyscrapers!

June 25, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterGeorge Jetson

Well, that must have been their long term plan. But as the economy is one institute that is very volatile, we can never be sure that a big company will forever be big and a small company will forever be small. In the end, it will all boil down to how the company was manage and how it had invested in the different aspects that constitute it.For th chrysler, it can start from thesimplest maintenance of the chrysler parts up to the monitoring of the performnace of their cars in the market and so on.

July 23, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterchrysler parts

All the best for your project! Success of your project is depends upon the ratio of expense and profit. I mean "At cheap cost, we have to gain more energy".

August 14, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterRenewable Electricity

"Tomorrow the sunmobile may replace the automobile. The power of bottled sunshine will propel it. Your solar sedan will take energy from sunrays and store it in accumulators that work like a battery. This power will drive your car just like gasoline does today.....still waiting on that...hmmm
Electrician

July 24, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterElectrician

Well, that must have been their long term plan. But as the economy is one institute that is very volatile, we can never be sure that a big company will forever be big and a small company will forever be small. The power of bottled sunshine will propel it. Your solar sedan will take energy from sunrays and store it in accumulators that work like a battery. This power will drive your car just like gasoline does today.....still waiting on that...hmmm
*************
victor

Cheap Cars

September 1, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCheap Cars

Never happen - not even the most feverishly dedicated hippie-scientist could ever make a practical solar-powered car!!!

December 27, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJoe

That would be great if they can do solar powered cars!

February 16, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterElectrician Toronto

men I don't want to be rude, but if in this moment had a car like in the picture, I swear you that I stay with the classics wheels, I don't understand why the people of some years ago, imagined something like this, but well they can't imgine our new Kamagra Model 11, this is a real beauty car.

March 28, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAsh Williams

In truth, the vehicle was far less a traditional automobile than it was an oversized wind-up toy, and it relied on a series of tightly wound coil springs to propel itself forward.

This is such an informative post to read, keep up the wonderful job!

April 11, 2011 | Unregistered Commentervail eagle airport

This is really good information I have visited this blog to read something fresh and I really admire you efforts in doing so.

June 11, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBuy Synthroid

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