Driving the Recovered Past- Part II
In the face
of global energy concerns, many automobile companies are producing electric and
hybrid cars in order to become more energy efficient and sustainable. Many
individuals believe that electric cars have a bright future in the automobile
industry. Carrington White, fourth year History and Political Science student
"Sorry, no gas today”
It might surprise you, but in 1973, these signs were a common sight at North American gas stations. The Yom Kippur War had captured global attention and the resulting oil embargo, imposed by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) in an effort to conserve peace, greatly affected the nations supporting the Israeli military effort. Before this embargo, Canadians were largely unaware of the complexities of energy sources and their importance in the global economy.
Photographer unknown, “Line at the Gas Station”, June 15, 1979, via Google Images, Labelled for Reuse Attribution.
large oil reserves,
“A new Canadian industry”
the Oil Crisis, there was resurgence in innovation of personal transportation.
and public sectors believed that creating a Canadian industry would help
relieve the dependence on foreign oil imports so in 1975, Petro-Canada was established.
Its mandate was to encourage Canadian exploration for and research of fuel and
other energy sources, as well as to enhance federal control over the
development and security of oil in
In Quebec, Marathon Electric believed that one solution to the geo-political risks of foreign oil and the country’s growing energy needs was “a wholly owned Canadian company, and that is the final development and growing use of electric powered vehicles”. Luis Gyory felt that “With eight years of experience in the design and manufacture of electric vehicles… we believe that we have the basis for the establishment of a viable new Canadian industry”.
Oanababy, “Petro-Canada”, June 2, 2007 via Flickr, Creative Commons Attribution
The green giant rises again
Electric Co shared in this growth of the electric automobile industry. They
sold over six hundred electric vehicles by 1978. Interestingly, safety and convenience
remained a concern for buyers for over half a century following the release of
the C-300, despite the in-depth safety manual and claims that the C-300 was
“safe, dependable and easy to operate”.
Unfamiliarity, safety concerns, and cost of the vehicle were likely the reasons
for poor electric car sales. Nevertheless, the Marathon C-300 contributed
greatly to fuel efficiency and alternative transportation in
electric vehicle had returned to
Marathon Electric Car Ltd.,