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WI: better batteries?

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  • WI: better batteries?

    OK, here's an interesting counterfactual I thought of. Suppose by 1935 battery technology had come to the point where electric motors could compare to gasoline ones, in terms of power and range. For instance, a Sherman could go say 50 miles on a full tank of gas, and 45 in a large battery. But the thing that really kicks it in the nuts though is that these batteries, while smaller and not needing a rare material to run, cost five to seven times a similar gas version.

    The question becomes, would the nations of the world adopt electric motors for their AFVs and trucks? Germany probably would, out of sheer necessity, but America and the USSR probably wouldn't because they had plenty of oil at the time.

    And what other nifty things could you do with super-batteries in WWII?
    How many Allied tanks it would take to destroy a Maus?
    275. Because that's how many shells there are in the Maus. Then it could probably crush some more until it ran out of gas. - Surfinbird

  • #2
    The only thing I can think of that comes close to this would be the experiments with electric transmissions on vehicals. Basically smaller versions of the piston engine/electric drive axle of the railroad Diesel locomotoves. The US Army built 250 of the T23 tanks as a test batch for a electric drive tank. It used the same gasoline engine as the M4 Sherman, the conventional transmission replaced with a electric generator/motor rig. The Germans and USSR experimented with this idea as well but I dont know any details.

    Communications techs would have been quite happy with lighter & more powerfull batterys. Truly portable radios with a range of more than a couple kilometers were much desired. Particularly by the infantry and artillery.

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    • #3
      IIRC the USS Saratoga was an electric drive ship. The "engine room" produced electricity that was used to drive the propellors.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by AdrianE View Post
        IIRC the USS Saratoga was an electric drive ship. The "engine room" produced electricity that was used to drive the propellors.


        Propulsion: Design:
        16 × boilers at 300 psi
        Geared turbines and electric drive
        4 × shafts
        180,000 shp; 213,000 reached in service
        Speed: 33.25 knots (design); 34.99 knots
        "Ask not what your country can do for you"

        Left wing, Right Wing same bird that they are killing.

        you’re entitled to your own opinion but not your own facts.

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