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Tesla's Electric Car

  1. Jan 25, 2005 #1
    I just read an article about Tesla's Electric CarLink

    The Car supposedly can run forever and does not need charging. It in effect runs on free energy.

    The article seems absurd but I thought that considering Tesla made this, there might be some substance to it. What do you think? Is it possible?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 25, 2005 #2


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    Three rods and a small box of resistors, etc...? It may have been Tesla, but I don't buy it. I think the story is rubbish.
  4. Jan 25, 2005 #3


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    Re: that patent - looks like a perpetual motion hoax slipped through the cracks. It happens every now and then. That linked site is refined, high purity B.S. Its conspiracy theory of the highest quality. The shielded permanent magnet motor is a common perpetual motion hoax.

    The Tesla story is likely a myth, though myths often are based on actual events: someone saw something and didn't know what he saw.
  5. Jan 25, 2005 #4


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    The car could easily have been powered with transmitted electricty - e.g. radio type stuff. You'd need a coil in the car, and a big transmission station somewhere else. It's the kind of thing Tesla would have done too.
  6. Jan 26, 2005 #5
    Hi everyone,

    I believe that electric vehicles without on-board power source is possible using many already known methods and principles of wireless energy transfer - whether RF, induction, microwave, laser, ultrasonic, etc.

    According to history, Edison and Tesla was for electrically powered vehicles. Unfortunately, when the automobile industry came to the decision to choose a type of engine, they apparently chose the combustion engine since Ford has already invested heavily in oil wells.

    Until some major disaster or economic shift happens in the oil industry, I do not believe we will see the proliferation of electric vehicles.

    FluidSpace :frown:
  7. Jan 26, 2005 #6


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    The usage of electric cars has been around for a very long time in public transportation. But a wireless delivery system is not practical to cover large areas.
    Transportation outside the city limits is rural and a portable energy source is needed. And steam cars offered the advantage of multiple fuel sources but the inconveniences were many so oil wins handily.

    The new hybrids are as close as we are to get to electric cars for a while. And as has been discussed in many other threads, a simple switch to electric makes our energy problems worse and pollution go up since most electricity comes from heavy polluting coal power plants.

  8. Jan 26, 2005 #7


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    That's correct - but thats not an easy thing to do.
    According to whom? The way I see it (from an engineering perspective), the technical problems involved with electric cars make internal combustion engines just plain better. The way you say it sounds like conspiracy theory. The truth is probably just that Ford vertically integrated: knowing that oil worked better, he ran his cars off oil and bought oil wells. If electric cars had worked better, he would have built electric cars and power plants.
  9. Jan 27, 2005 #8

    Hi Russ,

    Unfortunately, by nature, people have their own hidden agendas--It's part of our survival mechanisms--whether it is destructive or not. Conspiracy, is not a theory, is part of the human psyche and our daily lives. We may not truly know exactly what happened with Ford and Edison, but I managed to acquaint myself with someone very close to the Ford family to learn more about Henry Ford's relationship with Thomas Edison and their agendas. After all, I do not condemn them for what they have done--it's just business.

  10. Jan 27, 2005 #9


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    Since this thread has little to do with engineering, and a bunch to do with "can this be possible", I'm going to move it to scepticism and debunking.
  11. Feb 4, 2005 #10


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    Yes, it is just business, but not for the reasons you think it is. Even now (let alone ~100 years ago) the storage of electricity for portable use has some major issues which by and large prohibit its use in this form.

    My point is that a sound business agenda has to be based on sound technical reasoning. If Henry Ford had had his fingers dipped into the electricity generation market, and wanting demand for his electricty developed electric cars instead of petrol ones, he would soon have found himself out of business.
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2005
  12. Feb 5, 2005 #11
    does anyone here think flywheels as storage devices will ever become cheap enough/safe enough to use in cars?

    better than chemical batteries, and you don't have to build a distribution system like hydrogen...

    any flywheel gurus around here?
  13. Feb 5, 2005 #12

    Ivan Seeking

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    No guru but I have looked at this stuff. The last best design that I saw used three pairs of counter rotating flywheels suspended on magnetic bearings in an evacuated chamber. The top rotational speed of the masses was 150,000 rpm, or some similar, absurdly high number. I don't remember the mass used and I never did the math.

    I know that safety is the problem. In order to get enough stored energy, the mass must rotate so quickly that it becomes a bomb in the event of catastrophic failures. One design used a fiberglass mass that transforms into a cotton-candy-like gooey substance, upon failure. The disintegration of the previously uniform fiberglass mass consumes the stored inertial energy and converts it to heat, which then melts the fiberglass. No explosion! This seemed to me like the right idea.
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2005
  14. Feb 6, 2005 #13
    I have heard of these safely self destructing fws...agree they seem to be the way to go. Else the containment structure becomes so bulky you probably lose a lot of your weight benefit. ANYTHING spinning at 150K RPM is truly frightening! It's a big hurdle to overcome....one car goes boom and so much for the flywheel.
  15. Feb 27, 2010 #14
    Tesla stated himself, he was using some form of natural ambient high frequency energy.

    He took his idea back because people were claiming he was using black magic.

    Seems not much has changed.
  16. Mar 5, 2010 #15

    Ivan Seeking

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    We need a source for this. Do not make claims without providing supporting information.
  17. Mar 5, 2010 #16
    Step back from the link in the OP to http://www.keelynet.com and you’ll find that the whole site is a time capsule of Internet hoaxing and pseudo-science at the turn of the century. Is there a project anywhere that is capturing this online stuff for the future?

    The site is named for John Ernst Worrell Keely, a nineteenth century “inventor”. The Wikipedia article on him is very entertaining.
  18. Apr 15, 2010 #17
    Exactly. The actual story is that Tesla took someone to this barn. In that barn was a car with an electric motor where the usual gasoline engine would be. Tesla pulled some tubes out of a case and plugged them into some apparatus in the car. Then the two of them proceeded to drive around most of the day often at very high rates of speed (for the time). They returned to the barn. Tesla pulled the tubes and put them back in his case and they left.

    That's it. So where is the "perpetual motion" in this? People with the perpetual motion bug in their ears, "debunk" this left and right, but there's zero evidence that anything like that was involved. As NateTG notes, transmitting power through the air was Tesla's life work so if this was one demonstration of it (there were MANY others in varying degrees) it certainly isn't surprising. OF course he was very secretive about his work until patents were issued so the fact that nobody knows exactly what he was doing isn't surprising.

    So, the bottom line is that "debunkers" simply like to use "plausible denial" to ridicule such stories. Such is a totally unscientific methodology. A real investigation would approach this like a "history detective" looking for facts and verifications instead of sweeping generalities denying it all. Of course, in this case, I very much doubt that any such evidence remains which means that the issue cannot be resolved. And if that is true then the scientific thing to do is to ALLOW it to remain unresolved because that is the truth. To wave hands to discredit it is politics and not science.
  19. Apr 26, 2010 #18
    We do know Tesla experimented with all sorts of what we could call wireless technologies. I would guess his electric car would be in suit. I never read anywhere that Tesla has claims to a 100% free energy system. I believe his "free energy" would be the wireless deployment of electricity he advocated. Tesla was so ahead of his time. I wish he was here in the age of quantum mechanics. His hands on work with electricity would bring great insight towards a ToE.

    There is only one perpetual motion machine - the universe. The only something out of nothing.
  20. Apr 26, 2010 #19


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    There are a bunch of threads refuting most of the Tesla-crank links here.
    It comes down to a couple of things.

    Tesla did some experiments wireless transferring power over long distances, these failed. He had some wrong values for how well this would work based on lightning data - researchers at the time failed to realize quite how big a lightning current is by several orders of magnitude.

    At the same time the Earth's magnetic field was a big research topic - the nano-technology of it's day. Electricity and magnetism was still pretty new and the Earth's magnetic field poorly understood (not much change). It didn't seem unreasonable that you could extract electricity directly from the Earth's dynamo much more easily than digging up coal and building steam engines.

    A whole bunch of top universities had magnetics institutes (eg http://www.dtm.ciw.edu/) most of them got quietly closed or turned into geology depts by the 40s.
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2010
  21. Oct 18, 2010 #20
    tesla stated himself in an interveiw that the best way to power a vechicle was to power a generator by other means becuse it wasnt fesable to do so other wise yet at the time which could mean a lot of things but mostly two things either he tried to do so by transmission and failed or he suceeded but at an extremely unresonable cost ( maybe to unsteble destroying equipment, to dangerous ) so it one of those mystries that will most likely never be solved unless you can get the papers that ( either dont exsist some where that doesnt exsist) and can understand them ( tesla did a very good job of hiding dangerous knowledge form everyone in his patents ) he was also very vauge. so i would let it go because it seems like did
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2010
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