That's wacky! The most bizarre green cars ever proposed, Part I

The Buckminster Fuller designed Dymaxion - image: National Automobile Museum

The Buckminster Fuller designed Dymaxion – image: National Automobile Museum

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Often the growth of green cars comes in fits and starts, and new ideas are rushed to market regularly before they’re ready. Visionaries with dreams of changing the world may have little real-world experience and find themselves in over their heads after they  jump in too quickly. Even pure charlatans sometimes emerge from the woodwork to hawk new ideas that they may or may not have any intention to produce.

All these have happened in abundance through the history of boosting fuel economy and promoting new electric cars.

Here, we’ll take a look at a dozen or so of the most bizarre models through history, from the Depression when there were some notable exceptions to cars becoming more standardized, through the end of the 20th century. Many of these cars were developed to meet the needs of more austere times—and some found significantly more success than others. We’ll present them all in chronological order to preserve the historical arc of technological development.

Developments have come so fast in the 21st century that missteps have also been more frequent. We’ll save those for Part II.

 Dymaxion