My wife, Nerissa, drives the Chevy Volt and loves it. She’s had it since 2012. Her electric car never fails, always looks great, contains what feels like enormous room inside, and rides smooth on our errands and trips. It’s a great car.
It’s so great that we just went and traded it in for a brand new 2017 Chevy Volt.
But not all electric cars are so cool or so reliable.
I owned the Fisker Karma a few years ago.
It was the opposite.
It was a nightmare to drive, though it was stunningly beautiful.
There were over a dozen things wrong with it, and the company.
Eventually the company went bankrupt, and I sold the car at a big loss.
Of course, Tesla is all over the news.
I called them when they announced their limited edition of 100 Roadsters around 2008.
But Tesla talked me out of buying one, saying they didn’t have service stations in Texas and wouldn’t be able to repair my car without transporting it to California or sending a technician to me.
Good thing I passed on that roadster, as even Elon Musk today admits that his first car was a disaster.
In a June 2016 Road and Track article online, Musk was reported as saying they had “no idea what we are doing,” and characterizing their original efforts as “completely clueless.”
Tesla is still getting lots of the media attention and I’m glad to see it.
Tesla’s new cars look hi-tech, dependable, and safe.
But I live in Texas, where I have seen the car on the road but have never test driven one. (I asked for a test drive and so far, over three weeks later, no one has replied.)
Besides, I’m not all that keen to get into another electric car, given my trauma with the Fisker.
And the most recent news was of a man killed while using the auto driving feature on his Tesla.
Apparently, the long range electric sports car is not yet out of the woods.
But all of this got me wondering about the origin of the electric car.
In an episode of Jay Leno’s great new TV show, Leno’s Garage, he drove an electric car from the early 1900’s that could get 90 miles on a charge.
What happened to it?
What happened to all the other early electric cars?
So I did some research.
Turns out in the late 1800s and early 1900s, the most popular car was the electric.
There were steam driven cars, which no one liked, and a few gas driven cars, which no one knew how to drive or fix.
But people were ready for something new, as the feces and urine filled streets where horse drawn carriages turned the roads into a sewer of slosh, was just too much and too unsanitary.
The electric was clean, dependable, and smart.
Or course, there were few cleared roads then.
And no driving schools.
And no battery chargers.
And few people had electricity.
And even fewer could actually afford the much more expensive electric car.
And a single battery cost more to replace than the Model T would cost to own.
For example, the price of a Detroit Electric car in 1914 was about $2,650. If you wanted to upgrade to the Edison Nickel Iron batteries, then the price went up about $600. At the same time, you could buy TWO NEW Model T’s for that same $600. (!)
It was an uphill battle for the electric car.
Of course, many tried to make it work.
Some entrepreneurial companies saw a business in an electric car taxi service.
The problem was, the cars could only drive about 10 miles before needing a charge or a battery replacement.
This was an incredible nuisance for the passenger — you could only go 5-10 miles away (!) – as well as for the driver and not to mention the cab company.
As a result, electric cars were made, but they weren’t sold easily: first because they were too expensive to buy, and second, they were too expensive to keep replacing batteries.
Most of the electric car companies went bankrupt.
And then Henry Ford enters.
Ford actually wanted to invest in the electric car, and make them.
He bought an electric car every other year for years. He and his wife loved them.
But the electric car companies created a coalition to block any competitors they didn’t like.
In short, many electric car companies got greedy and tried to create a monopoly.
Ultimately, they drove themselves off the pages of history.
The electric car simply wasn’t convenient or affordable at the time, and many electric companies were ruthless and competitive.
But that’s not all that happened to make the electric car lose power.
Thomas Edison inspires Henry Ford
It was actually Thomas Edison who threw the switch on making the gas powered car the vehicle of choice.
Edison, the king of all things electric, met Henry Ford at a now historic dinner in 1896.
The inventor listened to the car creator describe his idea of an ideal car: affordable, dependable, efficient, and requiring almost no maintenance.
In fact, Ford wanted his car to be low priced and maintenance free.
Edison heard all of this and slammed the table with his fist.
He then said these now historic words to Ford –
“Young man, that’s the thing; you have it. Keep at it. Electric cars must keep near to power stations. The storage battery is too heavy. Steam cars won’t do, either, for they require a boiler and fire. Your car is self-contained—carries its own power plant—no fire, no boiler, no smoke and no steam. You have the thing. Keep at it.”
As a result, Ford moved the world with his new car, which was a public hit.
The electric car drifted out of awareness, except for a few failed attempts over the decades at resurrection, and the fossil fuel driven car won the race.
By 1919, virtually all electric car production was stopped, and the electric began to fade away.
It wouldn’t be until the 1970s, when gasoline prices hit record highs, that the mass public started to look for an electric car again.
I’m joining in that search.
A decade ago, when I met the people who make Panoz race cars (I have two of their street legal beauties), I told them if they make an environmentally friendly sports car, I’d buy it.
They haven’t yet.
When I heard of Ronn Motors inventing a hydrogen driven sports car, I ordered the first one, bought stock in the company, invested in the company, promoted the car on national television and on the front page of local magazines.
The company went bankrupt.
When I heard of a sports car that could run on sea water, I contacted the German company and asked if I could invest in it and order a car.
No one answered.
When Porsche made a one-of-a-kind 918 Spyder electric hybrid sports marvel, I asked the price.
They said $845,000. I passed (and almost passed out).
When BMW (a car maker I’ve always loved), developed the electric hybrid sports car they called the i8, I ordered one.
But after half a year of waiting, the salesman said it would be three more years before I would get my car.
I cancelled my order.
I could go on.
Today the marketplace is ready for an electric (or solar or sea water or any environmentally safe) car that is affordable, dependable, convenient, and attractive.
Tesla is working in that direction.
I’ll keep watching them, and other auto makers like Audi, Acura, and Nissan, to see who wins the next race. I may be a specialist in how to attract a new car, but the car also has to exist. 🙂
Meanwhile, we now have Nerissa’s 2017 Chevy Volt.
Let’s charge up and go!
PS – Some of my resources for this post include —
Hybrid cars are coming out of the floors and ceilings these days. While I’m still excited (and still waiting) for the Scorpion, that incredible hydrogen-gas super exotic car being made for me, I’m also keeping my eyes open for other green auto innovations. When Porsche announced its 918 Spyder, a battery-gas hybrid futuristic super car, the entire car world sat up and took notice, including me.
The thing is, the car might be an illusion.
After the Porsche 918 hit the cover of many magazines, including Automotive, I went looking for it. According to one article, if Porsche got 1,000 firm orders for the car, they’d make it.
That surprised me.
Wasn’t the car already made?
Wasn’t a thousand orders thinking small (for Porsche)?
Anyway, I wanted to be one of those buyers. I went online and searched. I couldn’t find a single site where I could place my order. Weird.
I called a Porsche rep in Houston I met recently. He had no idea how to order the car and barely knew as much as I did about it.
I contacted Porsche in Austin. An upbeat salesperson there called me back. He had seen me on the cover of Austin Fit magazine and remembered me and the Scorpion (below). But he was in the dark about the Porsche 918.
Meanwhile, I went online to the Porsche corporate site and sent emails to every manager I could find.
No one wrote me back.
Then a friend forwarded an article to me about Porsche now having 900 orders for their new car. I was frustrated.
How are those 900 people placing their orders?
I decided to write the reporter who wrote the article. He instantly wrote me back, giving me two key contacts within Porsche HQ’s itself.
I wrote both of them.
I gave each my office phone, private mobile phone, and my email address.
So far, neither has written back.
What am I to make of this?
Maybe Porsche is just photo-shopping a car into existence to drum up publicity for their other hybrids coming out in a few months.
Maybe Porsche is like so many big corporations, just not communicating with all their other departments.
Maybe I’m not supposed to have the Porsche 918 hybrid.
I have to admit that from a Law of Attraction standpoint, the latter explanation seems to make more sense.
Let’s dig into this a bit…
I’ve said many times that the meaning you give an event is the belief that attracted it.
If I declare that the new Porsche isn’t for me, then that’s the belief that attracted this scenario. It has nothing to do with Porsche. It has everything to do with me.
Again, as I’ve said and written many times, and recorded in such audio programs as The Secret to Attracting Money, the meaning you give an event is the belief that attracted it.
What was the meaning I gave this event?
What did it mean that I was/am having trouble placing an order for the Porsche 918?
I had to really think about this. The answer wasn’t instantly there. But after a little reflection, there it was.
Truth is, I’m still excited and eager to finally receive the Scorpion. While the wait has been seemingly forever — they’ve been telling me “thirty days” for years now — the car is worth the wait.
I’ll have the second one they make. It’ll be an honor, a collectible, and a historic moment – on the level of owning one of the few Tucker cars in existence.
In short, the Law of Attraction is always working – just not on the conscious level you may have thought.
You have to remember that what looks like failure could be a message – a message from the Divine/unconscious – about what you really want, about what you really believe, and/or about what the Universe wants for you.
This all boils down to trust.
While I could muscle my way into ordering the Porsche 918 – by maybe flying to Porsche company headquarters and handing them my order – it’s clear I’m getting a different signal.
All these bumps and blocks aren’t there by accident. They aren’t saying Law of Attraction doesn’t work. Instead, it’s working just fine.
Don’t blame gravity when you trip and fall. It’s working. You weren’t watching where you were going.
Don’t blame Law of Attraction when you don’t get what you want. It’s working, too. You’re simply getting what you unconsciously want.
As always, the whole idea here is to awaken.
Awaken to our inner power, our inner Divinity, and maybe our inner race car.
PS – While writing this very blog post, my server went off line and lost my writing, which wasn’t completed with the ending insight above, but was still important. It gave me pause. I wondered why it seemed like I couldn’t even write about not attracting the Porsche 918. Then I realized, again, that I really want the Scorpion. Once I got the lesson, I no longer needed the experience. The blog returned. The Porsche 918 remains a ghost. The Scorpion will appear when it appears (or something better will). All is well. Life continues. And I have plenty of other cars to drive anyway. So there.