1966 Electrovair II Concept
Written by Bill Bowman
The battery powered 1966 Electrovair II concept was a test bed for motor and control developments. Its power source was a silver zinc battery pack, in a 532-volt array, located in the front and rear compartments of a 1966 Corvair Monza sport sedan. Silver zinc batteries were used because they delivered high peak power and provided good energy storage but they were costly and were worn out after 100 recharges.
The battery pack was connected to a 115 horsepower AC-Induction motor that produced approximately the same performance as a conventional gasoline powered Corvair, except for its limited range of 40-80 miles before recharging. A tank full of gasoline would propel a Corvair 250-300 miles. Top speed was 80 m.p.h.
Electrovair II’s total weight was approximately 800 lbs. more than a Corvair, even with the comparatively light and compact silver zinc battery pack. If it were propelled by conventional lead acid batteries, the batteries alone would weigh more than 2,600 lbs., approximately the total weight of a standard Corvair.
Some of the touches that set the Electrovair dash apart from the production car are large gages for monitoring volts and amps occupy the space normally reserved for the radio and the in-dash gear selector has no “L” for low.