The Electric Vehicle: Past, Present... and Future?

David Kirsch, University of Maryland

Philadelphia Area Center for History of Science

Wednesday, January 29, 2014 - 6:00pm

Musser Theater, Franklin Institute, 222 N. 20th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103

Join us for an evening discussion with guest speaker, David Kirsch, of the University of Maryland and author of The Electric Vehicle and the Burden of History as he provides perspective on the evolution of the American transportation system. In late 2010, we began our most recent experiment with battery-electric passenger cars. With three years of sales data now in hand, what have we learned about the new automotive landscape? What have we learned from contemporary consumers that we couldn't have known from careful observation of past waves of interest in Electric Vehicles (EVs)? This talk will take the history of the electric vehicle as a point of departure to focus on the formation of expectations about EV technology: how have our expectations tracked reality, and where have they diverged in the past? What can we learn that will better inform our thinking about the future of electric vehicles? David A. Kirsch is Associate Professor of Strategy and Entrepreneurship at the Robert H. Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland. His research focuses on the intersection of problems of innovation and entrepreneurship, technological and business failure, and industry emergence and evolution. Kirsch’s research has appeared in leading business history and management journals and has been the subject of feature stories in national publications including The Washington Post, The New York Times, and The Chronicle of Higher Education. Kirsch received a Ph.D. in History of Technology from Stanford University, an M.A. in Economics of Innovation from MERIT at the University of Limburg, and an A.B. from Harvard College in History and Science.