GE General Electric – electric car (year 1979)

You wont gas it up. You’ll plug it in. That was the year 1979 electric car headline on the General Electric advertisement featured in Reader’s Digest magazine.

electric car 1979 GE

image credit: Reader’s Digest magazine, p. 201, August – 1979. GE – General Electric.

A Progress Report [year 1979] from General Electric:

The electric car. Today, the dream is finally starting to take shape. The experimental model that you see here could well point the way to the future.

GE didn’t build this car. That’s not GE’s business. But the car’s electric motor and its solid-state electronic controls came from GE technology.

GE is making a lot of progress in developing these motors and controls. Even so, electric cars still have a way to go. This one, for example, will travel only about 75 miles before its batteries need recharging.

Still, it’s a start. When electric cars do come along, GE will be ready for them.

Right now, GE is developing technologies for the next ten years – and beyond. In the laboratory is a fuel cell that combines hydrogen and oxygen to make electricity. Another kind of cell – the photovoltaic cell – generates electricity simply by sitting in the sun.

Technology is a practical way of helping solve problems that concern us all: pollution, disease, energy shortages, crime. GE is using its technology to make progress in all these areas.

Progress for People



  • Interesting topic!
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    2014 Tesla Model S 60 – Supercharging a super car.

    Car and Driver
    Jeff Sabatini
    November 2014


    The future does not seem so amazing here, parked behind a grocery store in suburban Toledo, Ohio. It is raining, and without a canopy of protective solar panels over this particular Tesla Supercharger station, the one closest to our Ann Arbor, Michigan, office, we are resigned to sitting in the car while it replenishes its battery. Were it not for the Model S’s navigation system, part of the $3750 Tech package, we would never have found the location. No signs on the main road direct drivers this way, no structure identifies this solitary bank of six DC chargers as anything at all. Small, red placards like those that decorate parking garages proclaim, “Tesla Electric Vehicle Parking,” but that’s the extent of any notice that this spot is, in fact, part of something much larger.

    Tesla’s network of 125 Superchargers now spans across the United States and up and down the coasts. Although it has yet to achieve the sort of density by which spontaneous travel can be undertaken, at least not without relying on the public charging marketplace, the company is also not finished. (Additionally, Tesla has been assisting in the installation of 240-volt AC “High Power Wall Connectors” in well-traveled locales around the country, but these charge at a much slower rate.)

    Unlike filling a gas tank, charging the battery of an electric car is not a linear process and slows as the battery gets closer to full. So Tesla quotes a 20-minute charge time to replenish the Model S battery to half its capacity using one of the 120-kW Superchargers. This is about 16 times as fast as most public charging stations, according to the company. Sitting in the Model S watching the miles pile up in the range indicator just as steadily as the precipitation comes down outside, the claim is believable. A 35-minute respite added 100 miles of range before we motored back to the office.

    Exclusive Means Excluding Others, Right?

    The Model S takes a proprietary connector, for which the company provides a variety of adapters including one for a standard SAE J1772 plug like on the Chevy Volt and other EVs, a 120-volt wall plug, and even the receptacle for a 240-volt electric clothes dryer. This means Model S owners can charge pretty much anywhere, but others are not so lucky. The special Tesla connector locks out other EVs from using the Tesla network, so even cars like the Nissan Leaf, which supports DC charging, cannot use Superchargers.
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    View the complete article at:

    Tesla Model S picture

    Image credit:

  • I recently received a request for a scan of the front back covers of the Reader’s Digest magazine featured in the article (August, 1979). Below is a scan of the front cover:

    Readers Digest August 1979

  • I recently received a request for a scan of the front back covers of the Reader’s Digest magazine featured in the article (August, 1979).

    The back cover features the following artwork:

    Pond Lilies by American artist Jack Beal (color lithograph)

    Below is a scan of the back cover:

    Readers Digest August 1979

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