First Batteries Driven Electric Car ?Could it have been this Renault Dauphine


On a recent visit to Silverstone Race Track, Dave Smith of Batteriesontheweb noticed a strange looking Renault Dauphine. Because of Daves interest in batteries, he noticed the car had “electric car” written on the boot. Dave took us a few pictures for our blog and we discovered a few interesting things, about the car.

First Batteries Driven Electric Car; First Electric car had 18x12Volt car batteries

First Batteries Driven Electric Car

Renault Dauphine, 1960 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

At the time, the petrol engined Renault Dauphine was a very popular car and sold well over 2 million models between 1956 and 1967. The idea of the concept of an electric car came from the owner of Henney coach builders, a Mr R Feldman. Feldman was also connected to Exide , and in 1959 he ordered 100 Dauphine cars. The Renault engines were stripped of all their mechanical parts. He Used an electric engine that was a general electric series wound traction type giving 7.1 horse power. In addition, this prototype used 18x 2Volt car batteries. With a vehicle that was much heavier than the standard petrol driven version. 

The car was very inefficient and a new electrical system was devised with the help of a Mr E Williams.

New system of 12X6Volt Electric car batteries now used

Models in 1960, were fitted with a new system of 12×6 Volt units giving the electric motor 72Volts. furthermore, this car reached a top speed of 90 km/per hr as against only 60 km/per hr in the old system.The car was known as the “Henney-Killowatt” but proved to be very unpopular and with less than half ordered, the project was scrapped and only a few have survived to-day including this fine specimen pictured at Silverstone. in addition, car batteries can be bought online at www.batteriesontheweb.co.uk

Eric Roberts

Hi I would like to introduce myself. Especially relevant, I have worked in the Garage and tyre and Battery business now for 40 years. consequently, I worked for a couple of national tyre companies before starting my first business. Finally, I now own a company here in the UK called Pellon Tyre and Auto-centre. I am a keen blogger about anything to do with cars and their related products that will help my business.


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