A special class of electric horseless carriages will highlight the renewed enthusiasm for the 120 year old technology at the 23rd annual Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance on Sunday March 11, 2018.
   When electric cars first took to American roads over a century ago many homes were still lit by gas lamps and the "exhaust" of domestic animals was still an impediment to convenient and dignified travel. 

Courtesy of Dragone Classic Motorcars

     The duty of the first electric cars was local transport, not much different than the tasks performed by horses. Very early in the 20th century American industrial legend Thomas Edison  and the brilliant mathematician and electrical engineer Charles Steinmetz both drove electric cars.

    A lack of any sort of road system kept most cars in town. In those days even heavy battery powered cars were an effective mode of local transport. They were silent servants in an agrarian age when the bark of the internal combustion engine was often a social nuisance and a bane to livestock.
   That all changed as technology made the internal combustion engine a more obedient servant and the American highway system put greater demands on the duties of automobiles. In 1912 Cadillac's "Boss" Kettering invented the self-starter. Within a few years no one had to crank start an automobile. That invention drove the first nail in the coffin of the electric car.

Courtesy of Dragone Classic Motorcars
   "It certainly seems the electric car's time has come again," said Mark Becker, Vice-Chairman of the Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance. "Maturing technologies and changing attitudes have revived the flexibility of the electric car concept."
   "The reality surrounding the current strain of electric cars has the look of renaissance about it. So it's time for 'The Amelia' to honor the early pioneers who saw the future of the electric car with unusual clarity," said The Amelia's founder Bill Warner, a graduate electrical engineer. "The urgency of war was the primary factor forcing the evolution of the internal combustion engine during the first half of the last century. But it will likely be the enlightened progress of civilization that will make the electric car a practical modern reality in the 21st century." 

   To complement the 2018 electric car class, The Amelia will feature the newest electric and hybrid powered cars from the world's leading manufacturers plus a seminar entitled,  "WATTS NEXT? Design Challenges of the Electric Car" on Friday, March 9th at 3pm in the Talbot Ballroom of the Ritz-Carlton Amelia Island.

  Friday's seminar will be hosted by Stewart Reed, Chair of Transportation Design, Art Center College of Design and include panelists Alfonso Albaisa, Senior VP of Global Design, Nissan; Moray Callum, VP of Design, Ian Callum, Jaguar Design Director; Ford Motor Company; Ralph Gilles, VP of Design, FCA;  Grant Larson, Exterior Design, Porsche; Michael Simcoe, VP Global Design, General Motors; Gorden Wagener, Chief Design Officer, Daimler AG .
   Tickets for both Friday's Electric Car and Saturday's IMSA GTP seminars are available now at Click Here for tickets

About The Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance
Now in its third decade, the Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance is among the top automotive events in the world. Always held the second full weekend in March, "The Amelia" draws over 300 rare vehicles from collections around the world to The Golf Club of Amelia Island and The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island for a celebration of the automobile like no other. Since 1996, the show's Foundation has donated over $3.2 million to Community Hospice & Palliative Care, Spina Bifida of Jacksonville, The Navy - Marine Corps Relief Society, Shop with Cops, and other deserving charities. In 2013 and 2016 the Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance won Octane Magazine's EFG International Historic Motoring Event of the Year award. The 23rd annual Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance is scheduled for March 9-11, 2018. For more information, visit www.ameliaconcours.org

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