Friday, 16 July 2010

Madelvic


Madelvic Electric Carriage Company built electric cars in Granton, Edinburgh from 1898 to 1900.  The factory cost £33,000 and was way over budget leaving the company financially vulnerable.  This was the first purpose built car factory in the UK and is the oldest still surviving.

The carriage carried up to half a ton and could still manage steep hills that left horse drawn carriages struggling.  One of the first customers to recognise the value of this was the Post Office who purchased three of the vehicles.  It was a traditional Edwardian brougham carriage but built on a tubular steel chassis with wire spoked steel wheels and solid tyres.  The batteries sat at the front, presumably under the footplate and the electric motor had a direct drive to the the central wheel. 

After liquidation in 1900 several other car companies occupied the the premises building buses, lorries and taxis there until 1925, all with internal combustion engines.  The building is not architecturally special, however even in its current neglected and dilapidated state it is still a spectacular factory space.  Despite being listed grade B, approval for demolition was granted in January 2010.

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