Fiat petrol-electric car, 1927.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
This is a Fiat 509 car in which the clutch and gearbox have been replaced by the Tilling-Stevens petrol-electric transmision system. This system, patented by W A Stevens and P F Smith between 1906 and 1916, consists of a petrol engine driving a dynamo that supplies current to a motor which drives the rear wheels through a shaft and bevel bearing. Smooth running and acceleration were obtained, as well as low maintenance costs.