LOS ANGELES – Auto executives, suppliers, designers and journalists sip their drinks as they admire a blue automobile that appears so much like a ’67 Mustang with a number of twists. Within the distance sits artist Andy Warhol’s ’74 Rolls Royce. The situation is a mecca for automobile fans, house to the Petersen Automotive Museum.
The phrase “museum” could conjure up photographs of historical artifacts and previous cultures, and Petersen definitely has a number of the earliest variations of the vehicles. However the museum additionally showcases how automotive know-how is heading into the long run.
“The entire thought is that the current is changing into the previous in a short time, and if somebody does not concentrate, there will not be many who must be saved,” Petersen’s senior historian Leslie Kendall tells Wards. “We’re accountable for saving, defending and documenting adjustments that occur in actual time.”
’67 (image, under), a battery-electric sedan named after the 1967 Ford Mustang, is the brainchild of London-based Cost Vehicles. With carbon fiber exterior physique panels, 536 horsepower and 1,120 lb.-ft. (1,518 Nm) of torque, the ’67 can speed up from 0-60 mph (97 km/h) in 3.9 seconds. Based on Cost Vehicles, it has a 63 kWh battery and a spread of 200 miles (322 km). Manufacturing is restricted to 499 vehicles, all hand-built.
“The Mustang embodies the American dream,” says Mark Roberts, Inventive Director of Cost Vehicles. “We rescheduled it to 21st-image of the century. No inner combustion engine was broken within the manufacturing of this automobile.”
Cost Vehicles selected Petersen for the US launch of the 67 as a result of “Los Angeles is the capital of automobile tradition (and) Petersen is the house of the automobile,” Roberts claims.
The Petersen Automotive Museum was based in 1994 by writer Robert E. Petersen. Sizzling rod and different automobile fanatic magazines and his spouse Margie. Its mission is to “analysis and current the historical past of the auto and its affect on world life and tradition, utilizing Los Angeles as a major instance,” based on its web site.
Kendall has been with Petersen because it opened. Based on him, a very powerful change throughout his tenure was the supply of electrical autos. Among the EVs within the museum’s assortment—lots of that are housed in a safe space known as The Vault, which may be toured by appointment solely—are a lot older than Petersen’s.
This contains the Henney Kilowatt. First produced in 1959 by Henney Coachworks and based mostly on the Renault Dauphin, the petrol powertrain was eliminated and changed by an electrical powertrain working on a 36V system initially equipped by 18 2V batteries. This was later upgraded to a 72V system utilizing 12 6V batteries.
Petersen has lengthy had displays of different energy technology, Kendall says, together with steam, electrical energy, turbine energy, biofuels and gasifiers; the latter may be fueled with wooden or coal. It even has a 1917 Woods Twin Energy Hybrid. However electrical powertrains have been round for for much longer. Scottish inventor Robert Anderson is alleged to have produced the primary electrical automobile in 1832.
“We realized that individuals do not realize that electrical energy has been round because the 1800s,” Kendall mentioned.
EV startup Fisker tapped Petersen to showcase its battery-electric Ocean SUV at an occasion on the Los Angeles Auto Present in November. Tu Le, managing director of Sino-Auto Insights, a consulting agency, attended.
“As somebody within the automotive area, (Petersen) is a extremely terrific bridge between what’s, what’s, and what will likely be,” he says.
Examples embody the unique Batmobile from the 1966-1968 Batman TV present and a automobile from the 2015 movie Mad Max: Fury Street.
Le says that makes Petersen extra than simply an automotive youngsters’s museum. “It actually creates a connection (for every kind of individuals) that numerous museums cannot,” he says.
Petersen at all times has at the least one various powertrain on show, Kendall says. It additionally has electrical hypercars and electrical bikes. Folks can see all of this throughout Vault excursions.
However will electrical vehicles substitute inner combustion engine vehicles, and if that’s the case, when?
“I do know higher than to foretell,” Kendall mentioned.