Is It Really True That Cars in the 1950s Only Went 100 Miles Between Fill Ups?

No, no it’s not. But who’s saying that in today’s New York Times? Disingenuous Shai Agassi of Project Better Place, that’s who. To wit:

Cars in the 1950s only went about 100 miles on a tank of gas, and that problem was solved by installing an infrastructure of gas stations.”

See, he’s trying to get support for his scheme of battery exchange stations for electric cars, so he’s cogitating about History and stuff. Which is fine, but why does he have to be all Music Man all the time?  

A Nash from the 1940’s. Did some Nashes have a range of 600 miles on a tank of gas? Yes.


Other cars, like VW Beetles, could also go much farther than 100 miles on a tank. But what about your stereotypical slick black Cadillacs with sold gold hub caps? Could these huge vehicles with 20 gallon tanks get more than 5 mpg on the open road? Yes.

Well maybe Shai was talking about cars in Israel or Europe in the 1950’s? Even so, same deal. Does this make Shai Agassi a liar? A promoter? A Believer?

If it doesn’t matter what MPG cars got in the 1950s, then why talk about it in your pitch? If you’re mistaken about this, what else are you mistaken about?

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