the present level of pollution, admittedly too high. Population projections indicate that a doubling of the number of vehicles can be anticipated within a relatively few years, and automotive pollution will rise accordingly.

Members of the American Public Power Association are deeply interested in what appears to offer a solution to a major part of the automotive pollution problem—the electric battery-powered vehicle. Although it is not likely that hattery-powered automobiles would completely replace combustion-powered vehicies, the air pollution problem would be materially alleviated by the widespread use of battery-powered automobiles and trucks.

Development of new types of batteries which are lighter in weight and more long-lasting than earlier types has stimulated much interest in the batteryoperated vehicle. Our Association has established a new committee to promote the electric auto. Battery-powered fork-lift vehicles, golf carts, delivery trucks and other specialized vehicles are beginning to catch on, particularly in Great Britain.

The early development of the automobile proceeded along three principal routes—the gasoline-powered engine, the steam engine, and battery-driven electric vehicle. Some of the early manufacturers switched from one type to the other; all types had certain advantages.


A description of the battery-powered automobile of the turn of the century indicates that it had reached an enviable position. “Evolution of the American Automobile" by Daniel D. Gage and Anne C. Garrison in Business Topics, published by Michigan State University, Autumn, 1965 notes that:

“It was the ultimate in simplicity and reliability, starting immediately with the turn of a switch, moving silently, increasing speed with utmost smoothness. Anyone could learn to drive it with finesse in five minutes. Consequently, it became identified with lady drivers and older people who were not concerned with dash and dreams of glory. Like its upholstery, its public image was dove gray. Its top speed did not exceed 25 miles an hour, and its range was limited by the need for recharging the storage batteries every 60 miles, either at a public garage or by means of expensive home equipment. As a passenger car, the electric car held on until the first World War, but the electric truck for street or in-factory use was revived 25 years later."

The same article notes that after the gasoline internal combustion power plant won out over steam and electricity, "for over half a century engineering ingenuity has been devoted to improving the piston engine, which is basically an over-elaborate and un-satisfactory source of power. It may have been that the challenge of perfecting this imperfect machine attracted designing talent to it rather than to the steam or electric car."


Whatever its merits as a source of automotive propulsion, the gasoline engine is choking our civilization with its fumes. While continuing to perfect this "over-elaborate and unsatisfactory source of power" to diminish its contribution to our air pollution, it would be desirable, also, to devote engineering talent to the battery-driven vehicle, which appears to have many uses in our urbanized society today.

A study by the Cornell Aeronautical Laboratory, Inc., at Buffalo, N.Y., last year, made for the Commerce Department, suggested the desirability of two distinct types of vehicles, one for urban use and one for interurban highway travel. The Cornell group predicted that a major market for electric automobiles, primarily for urban use, will appear by 1980. pointing out that the electrically powered car creates no air pollution and, perhaps more persuasive to potential buyers, has operating costs which are considerably less than those with internal combustion engines for stop-and-go driving.

Just recently, an interesting suggestion was made by columnist Howard K. Smith in the June, 1966, issue of Washingtonian magazine. Declaring that there are dozens of things which we can do about city traffic “when the moment of total paralysis and the incidence of lung and throat ailments finally prove that something must be done."

One of these could be to provide inner city drivers with a fleet of driveyourself electric, two-seater carts, which could be driven for a mile, at a speed of 20 miles per hour, for each coin put in a slot. “There would be no fumes, no important accidents, and no traffic jams caused by a mere 40 or 50 people scattered one-apiece in limousines big enough for eight.".


It is certainly true, as Mr. Smith says in the same column, that there are few inner cities today where distances were not covered faster half a century ago in horse-drawn vehicles than they are today in Cadillacs.

So one arm of the research effort into the electric vehicle can be directed toward designing, specifically for urban use, a vehicle which can transport people from place to place at relatively low speed, with ease of stopping and starting in dense traffic. The design of the vehicle itself requires an investment of talent and imagination.

Since there remain a good number of one-car families in America, and since the automobile represents both a convenience and a pleasure vehicle, a great deal of work must be done to increase the speed at which a battery-driven auto can travel, and to increase the distance which can be traveled without recharging the batteries.

A recent article by Edmund K. Faltermayer, appearing in the November, 1965 issue of Fortune magazine, reported that Yardney Electric Corp. of New York City has fitted up a special Renault Dauphine with lightweight batteries that can propel it at speeds up to 55 miles an hour, and up to 80 miles on a charge. “The catch is that these are military-type silver-zinc batteries costing $3,000." Nevertheless, Mr. Faltermayer added, several companies, including Yardney and General Dynamics Corp. are pushing ahead in the search for batteries that would cost only a fraction of this.

Mr. Faltermayer concludes that while a battery-operated car suitable for long journeys is a long way off, a smaller version might be available in a few years. Perhaps he was overly pessimistic, in view of progress which could be made if an all-out research effort were launched to develop smaller, lighter, and more powerful batteries. The fuel cell may offer an even more promising field for further research.


William T. Reid, of Battelle Memorial Institute, who is serving as coordinator of a broad research program on fuel cells, declared in a recent article that the greatest promise in providing electrical power for an automobile comes from the fuel cell. Although fuel cells are not being used commercially, Mr. Reid reported that they are being used experimentally for powering fork-lift trucks, golf carts, and the like.

From the standpoint of electric utilities, Mr. Reid noted that the hydrogenoxygen fuel cell, which presently has reached the highest level of development of any type of fuel cell, would run on the products of electrolyzed water, thus opening up the possibility of an eletrolyzer in each home garage, or in service stations in residential areas.

Batteries presently available cannot be used effectively in automobiles because they are too heavy and too costly, Mr. Reid said in the same article. But he suggested that improvements can be attained in lead-acid batteries—improvements which battery manufacturers have not been forced to make in the past because their present product meets the requirements of the present market. "Here is one area where research might make a major contribution,” Mr. Reid declared. “Another would be research and development leading to a wholly new secondary battery based on one of the light metals such as lithium, sodium, magnesium, or calcium with a nonaqueous electrolyte.” He added that this would be no easy task but, if successful, it would pay great dividends for other electrical storage systems as well as for electric automobiles.

Mr. Reid's article concluded that regenerative braking, traction motors specially designed for automobiles, controls, and auxiliaries all will need considerable development. In each of these areas, research could be justified leading to a final, practical prototype of an electric automobile.


Within the past year, two new types of electric storage batteries have been announced. In December, 1965, the Edison Electric Institute and General Dynamics announced a prototype zinc-air battery expected to be ready for testing soon. In February of this year Gulton Industries, Inc., announced the successful demonstration of a lithium battery that will be subjected to further development work. During the past decade, the traditional lead-acid battery found in every automobile and the industrial nickel-iron battery developed by Edison have been joined by the nickel-cadmium, nickel-silver, silver-zinc, silver-cadmium and mercury batteries. Developmental work also is going forward on sodium batteries.

An article on developments in electrochemical energy-conversion devices, batteries and fuel cells, by Dr. M. Barak of Chloride Technical Services Ltd., Swinton, Manchester, England, summarized recent progress in England, where battery powered delivery trucks are extensively used, and where passenger vehicles are being designed for battery operation.

Dr. Barak concludes that development work must continue in the direction of lightweight fuel cells with higher outputs, lightweight traction motors, and possibly high-speed transmission before fuel-battery electric cars can become a practical reality.

He reported that over 100,000 electrically propelled vehicles are in operation in Great Britain, including industrial trucks used to transport materials and products in factories, commercial vehicles, mining locomotives, and so on.


The Electricity Council in Britain more recently predicted that within 10 years a million battery-driven automobiles will be in operation. There are four small electric cars being tested on London streets as a result of the Council's campaign to promote the electric vehicle—two British Motor Corporation "Mini" cars, with the gasoline engine replaced by batteries and an electric motor, and two which are specially designed for electric operation by Scottish Aviation and Peel Engineering, according to a dispatch from London which appeared recently in the Chicago Tribune.

The Scottish Aviation model, called the Scamp, and the Peel car, called the Trident, are expected to cost less than $1,000 when mass-produced. They can go only about 30 miles between recharging, at a top speed of about 40 miles an hour. Batteries weigh about 700 pounds in the two-passenger models.

The Electricity Council predicted that eventually parking meters will be wired to recharge batteries, although recharging would be done in garage sockets during night, using off-peak electric rates, in most cases.

It seems highly important to pursue the design of vehicles specifically for battery operation, as the British are doing. This approach may result in vehicles which are most suitable for specific uses, e.g., commuter travel to and from large cities, as well as in vehicles which make the most efficient use of battery power. Obviously the breakthrough to wide-scale use of electric vehicles will not come as a result only of fitting up standard model cars for battery operation. And a real breakthrough in terms of consumer acceptance must come if the batteryoperate vehicle is to have an impact on the air pollution problem.


There are about 15 Federal agencies funding a total of 86 projects in battery research. Of these, 21 are being performed in government laboratories, 14 are being performed by 10 universities, and 51 by 24 industrial companies. Manufacturing corporations also are conducting research.

The Tennessee Valley Authority purchased a battery-operated electric car in 1961 for study and evaluation of the possible electric utility load buildup that could occur from public acceptance of such a vehicle. The car is a Renault Dauphine, with electric motor and batteries substituted for the gasoline engine.

After a series of tests on the car, which is called the Henney Kilowatt, it was concluded that commercial feasibility of the electric car "must await a substantial improvement in performance capability, particularly in the capacity to travel longer distances." A need for "major advances in storage battery technology" was noted in TVA's report on the Henney Kilowatt, but it was pointed out that research being carried out in connection with the national space program could make such advances possible.

In 1961, the Lead Industries Association of New York launched a campaign to increase the use of storage batteries as a source of electric power for industrial trucks, personnel carriers and other vehicles. The Association estimated that the electricity consumption of a single electric industrial truck would be 7,500 kilowatt hours per year, or more than five times as much as is used by a window airconditioner. This gives an indication of the importance of the electric vehicle to an operating utility, particularly when we consider that the bulk of the recharging load would come during the night, when other loads would be very low. Several electric utilities have launched sales promotion campaigns to sell electric trucks, according to an article in the Aug. 23, 1965 issue of Electrical World magazine.

R. & D. SUPPORT REQUIRED A leading proponent of electric autos to combat air pollution has been the Electric Storage Battery Company. The president of this firm, M. G. Smith, has called upon the President to "make recommendations for research and development of all kinds of non-polluting devices and spell out what both the Federal government and private industry should do to get those devices built and useduniversally and in the least possible time.”

Mr. Smith declared that non-polluting, battery-powered vehicles for low-speed, low-mileage urban transportation are feasible right now.

This brief summary of developments is not intended to be comprehensive, but merely to indicate that there is widespread interest in the electric vehicle and a recognition that it can substantially reduce the air pollution problem, if it is used as an alternative to the gasoline-powered car in urban areas.

Widespread use of electric vehicles would require increased generation of electric power in order to re-charge the batteries of electric vehicles. In this connection, the question of air pollution from electric generating plants will be raised, and should be raised, in assessing the total impact of the use of electric vehicles on the pollution problem.

Unlike gasoline burning automobile engines, modern electric generating station do not produce carbon monoxide, and the gas from stations is discharged into the upper atmosphere, not at street level where it directly contaminates the air people breathe. Furthermore, utilities now have very sophisticated equipment for controlling pollution.

In general, it would seem easier to regulate the discharge from a few hundred large generating plants than from millions of automobiles. The trend toward construction of larger plants, in more remote locations, will facilitate the regulation of generating plant pollution. Increasing use of nuclear fuel also will reduce the potential pollution from generating plants.

The members of our Association are fully aware of the pollution problem, as it is affected by the burning of fuels to produce electricity, and I am confident that they will cooperate in any reasonable plan to reduce or eliminate such pollution.

In addition to establishing a special committee to promote greater research which will lead to a “breakthrough” in mass markets and mass production of electric automobiles, our Association, at its annual Conference in Boston earlier this year adopted the following resolution by unanimous vote on May 12, 1966 :


“Whereas battery-powered passenger and other vehicles offer an alternative to vehicles powered by combustion engines, which create severe air pollution problems; and

"Whereas research currently under way indicates that economically feasible battery-powered vehicles can be developed within the near future if the electric industry and manufacturers push forward with an aggressive program of research and development; and

"Whereas the electric vehicle promises to provide an excellent off-peak load for electric utilities : Now, therefore, be it

Resolved, That the American Public Power Association urges a large-scale research and development effort to bring the electric vehicle to the market.”

APPA hopes that your Committee, in attacking the most pervasive source of air pollution, will recommend the kind of large-scale research and development effort necessary to make available a pollution-free means of transportation for our urban areas.

Our Association urges the committee's support for a two-pronged research and development effort. Such an effort would include both design of new vehicles suited for battery operation and development of lighter, longer-lasting, and less expensive batteries which can power the vehicles of the future.



Harrisburg, Pa., August 18, 1966. Hon. HARLEY 0. STAGGERS, Chairman, House Committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce, Rayburn

House Office Building, Washington, D.C. DEAR MR. STAGGERS : I have been informed that your Committee will soon hold hearings on H.R. 13199. The proposed amendments to the "Clean Air Act”, provided for in this bill, can have a significant effect on governmental air pollution control efforts throughout the Nation. At a recent meeting of the American Industrial Hygiene Association, the Director of the Pennsylvania Department of Health's Division of Air Pollution Control made the following comments with respect to this proposed legislation.

"A bill introduced at this Session of Congress (H.R. 13199, introduced by Mr. Staggers on March 2, 1966) would permit grants to state and municipal agencies ‘up to one-half of the cost of maintaining programs for the prevention and control of air pollution.' The enactment of this bill would alleviate some of the inequities of the present grant program. It would be important, though, that the Public Health Service regulations, developed for awarding grants for maintaining programs, not interfere with the autonomy of these programs. "Maintenance grants' should not be awarded on a 'project' basis. The individual development of state and municipal programs should not be inhibited by regulations which would have the Federal Government specify how these programs should be operated.

“ Maintenance grants' should be awarded on a 'formula' basis. The amount of Federal support to be given to a state or municipal program should be based upon the judicious application of criteria which are related to the extent and nature of the air pollution problems under the jurisdiction of the grantee agency.

“At the present time air pollution control concepts, both technical and administrative, are rapidly changing. It is a time to let a hundred flowers bloom'. No single agency has sufficient ability or knowledge to prescribe the administrative techniques which should be used by various state and local air pollution agencies in controlling the many and varied problems they face."

The Pennsylvania Air Pollution Control Act of 1960 authorized the creation of one of the first state level programs in the Nation. This program is administered by the Pennsylvania Department of Health. The Department first became involved in air pollution control in 1949 when this activity was established in our Division of Occupational Health. After the passage of the 1960 Act, a Division of Air Pollution Control was created in the Department. During our relatively long experience in this activity we have worked closely with the Federal program and other state and local programs. It has been our experience and it is our firm belief that, to be effective, governmental air pollution control programs must be operated by an agency which is not physically, politically or socially distant from day-to-day contacts with local air pollution problems. We believe that the Federal Government should develop broad National goals and a program of technical support. It is also important that Federal activities insure that

(1) The importance and effectiveness of local control programs is recognized.

(2) Real support is given to encourage the development of local programs.

(3) The ability of local officials to operate a program to the full extent of their competence, resources and local needs and desires, is not interfered

with. The program grant provisions of the "Clean Air Act” were designed to provide real support to local and state agencies. The implementation of these provisions has had a significant effect on the development and expansion of local and state efforts. We believe, though, that the regulations developed by the Public Health Service for the administration of this program were, in some areas, unfair and to a degree interfered with local autonomy. Specifically we object to the provisions of the regulations which require "new money" to match Federal funds and the awarding of grants on a "project basis”.

As indicated in the above statement, the “maintenance grants” provisions of H.R. 13199 "would alleviate some of the inequities of the present grant program”. To insure that the administration of the maintenance grant program is carried out on an equitable basis, we believe that it should be clearly stated that the

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