Nikola Tesla electric car hoax

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The Nikola Tesla electric car hoax is an anecdote that refers to a supposed Nikola Tesla invention described by Peter Savo, who claimed to be a nephew of Tesla, to Derek Ahers in 1967. Savo said that Tesla took him to Buffalo, New York in 1931 and showed him a modified Pierce-Arrow car.

Tesla, according to the story, had removed the gasoline engine from the car and replaced it with a brushless AC electric motor. The motor was said to have been run by a "cosmic energy power receiver" consisting of a box measuring about 25 inches long by 10 inches wide by 6 inches high, containing 12 radio vacuum tubes and connected to a 6-foot-long (1.8 m) antenna. The car was said to have been driven for about 50 miles at speeds of up to 90 mph during an eight-day period.[1][2]

The story has received some debate because the car's propulsion system is said to have been invented by Tesla. No physical evidence has ever been produced confirming that the car actually existed. Tesla did not have a nephew by the name of Peter Savo, and Tesla's grand-nephew William Terbo considers the Tesla electric car story to be a fabrication.

A number of web pages exist that perpetuate the tale. Every account of this purported demonstration automobile is based upon the story plus literary embellishment.[3][4][5][6][7][8]


  1. ^ Robert Nelson. ""Information about an Invention by Dr. Nikola Tesla, which is said to have harnessed Cosmic Energy" (Unidentified document circulated in the early 1980s)". Retrieved 2010-11-27.
  2. ^ Ford, R.A., Space Energy Receivers : Power from the wheelwork of nature, Simplified Technology Service, Champaign, IL, 1993 "Information about an invention by Dr Nikola Tesla, which is said to have harnessed cosmic energy" pp. 31–37.
  3. ^ "Tesla's Electric Car" (PDF). Retrieved 2010-11-27.
  4. ^ "Tesla's Electric Car". 2000-01-01. Retrieved 2010-11-27.
  5. ^ Gary Lee Armijo says: (2010-03-04). "Tesla's Electric Car". Retrieved 2010-11-27.
  6. ^ "Tesla's Electric Car". 2000-01-01. Retrieved 2010-11-27.
  7. ^ "Nikola Tesla's 'Black Magic' Touring Car". Retrieved 2010-11-27.
  8. ^ "The Electric Auto that almost triumphed, Power Source of '31 car still a mystery, by A.C. Greene". Vangard Sciences. 1993-01-30. Retrieved 2014-10-12.

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