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(ET) Gas Prices and alternative power
- Subject: (ET) Gas Prices and alternative power
- From: ThompsonG DFO-MPO GC CA
- Date: Wed, 8 Mar 2000 08:13:11 -0500
- Sender: owner-elec-trak cosmos5 phy tufts edu
I have been following this topic with great interest. Alternative fuel and
power is a topic near and dear to my heart. I come by this genetically, my
grandfather was a tool and die maker at the Stanley Steamer Works in
We in Canada are feeling the gas price crunch too and at this point we are
paying 75 cent a Litre. That about $ 2.00 CDN per gal or about $1.20 USD.
However, I think the infrastructure argument is only part of the reason
E-Traks didn't prosper. I think that the major reasons they were not
excepted on a broad scale were.
One, they were very costly if the Popular Science article is to be
the cost as much as a new car.
Two, they offered no perceived advantage to the buyer of the time, they
just another lawn tractor. (despite GE 's marketing) Three, the general
public have an irrational fear of anything electric that is used outdoors.
Finally, I think GE missed the mark in marketing. A green lawn tractor was
projected as the way of the future and marketed to a group of people who
were not in the position to need or buy a lawn tractor (young families with
typical 1970 suburban homes). A group who didn't have the money or the lawn
needed to buy a lawn tractor. Traditionally lawn tractors go to homes with
large established lawn and gardens. The folks who owned these properties in
the 70s were generation that found change and new technology as something
fear, and a technology a radical as an E-Trak was just too different for
I don't think there was a conspiracy or even a strategic marketing effort
kill this technology. I just think the E-Trac was and idea 40 year ahead of
Just my though on the subject.
Geof Thompson, B.Sc.
Central and Arctic Region Phone (905)
Development Division Fax (905) 336-8916
Canadian Hydrographic Service Email
Thompsong dfo-mpo gc ca <mailto:Thompsong dfo-mpo gc ca>
867 Lakeshore Road
P.O. Box 5050
Burlington, ON Canada