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Saskatoon, SK

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Fuelled by Innovation


Explore the world of alternate fuel vehicles. Some are homegrown in Saskatchewan; others came from beyond our borders. From the practical to the fanciful, all reflect a spirit of innovation.

Connect past to present as you discover that many of today’s innovations are rooted in yesterday’s ideas.


Rauch & Lang Electric Car   |   U of S Supermileage Car
Wind Car   |   Brooks Steamer   |   Steam Bicycle
Gofer EV   |   Straw Gas Car   |   Electrek


Rauch & Lang Electric Car

1911 Rauch & Lang on display

In 1911, the Rauch & Lang electric coupe was billed as a ladies car, the latest in luxury. Some models came decked out with crystal bud vases. The driver steered with a tiller bar instead of a steering wheel.

Make and Model: Rauch & Lang Electric
Model Year: 1911
Production Location: Detroit, Michigan

Fuel type: Electricity
Seating Capacity: 4

Weight: Unknown

Max speed: 18 ½ mph

Steering: Tiller bar

See Rauch & Lang Electric photos and artifact record  -->

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U of S Supermileage Car - Tensor

U of S supermileage car on display

Thirteen hundred miles per gallon? University of Saskatchewan engineering students set a North American record for fuel efficiency with Tensor, their 1982 entry in the Society of Automotive Engineers Supermileage competition in Marshall, Michigan. This was the third time the U of S took top honours with more wins to follow.

Make and Model: U of S supermileage vehicle prototype
Model Year:
1982
Production Location:
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

Fuel type:
Gasoline
Seating Capacity: 1

Weight: 45 kg
Body: Aluminum, Saran

Max speed: Unknown

Max km/L: 461

See U of S Supermileage Car artifact record -->

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Gofer EV

Gofer EV on display

Saskatoon’s PapaBravo Innovations prototype Gofer electric vehicle (EV) rounds out the exhibit. Built in 2010 for the potash industry, the EV proved so successful that it sparked a new business and by 2013 all Saskatchewan potash companies were using PapaBravo Evs in their underground operations.

Make and Model: PapaBravo Innovations Gofer EV
Model Year: 2010
Production Location: Saskatoon, SK

Fuel type: Lithium iron phosphate batteries

Seating capacity: 4
Weight: Unknown

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Wind Car

Wind car on display

In the 1970s, using a Volkswagen chassis, windmill parts and wind scoops made from oil drums, one clever Saskatchewan farm boy cobbled together a vehicle powered by the wind. A stiff breeze propelled it about as fast as a person could walk.

Make and Model: homemade
Model Year: 1970s
Production Location: Tonkin, Saskatchewan

Fuelled Type: Wind
Seating Capacity: 1

Max speed: at least 3.5 km/h (brisk walking speed)

Weight: unknown
Body: VW Beetle chassis

Engine Type: none. The wind car has no motor or engine, the turning blades power its moving parts rather than steam or internal combustion.

See Wind Car artifact record -->

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Straw Gas Car

Straw gas powered car with large blimp suspended about car to hold gas

Heads turned on an August day in 1918 as a car with a giant gas bag suspended overhead made its way from the University of Saskatchewan to downtown Saskatoon. Two professors were out for a test drive in a 1918 McLaughlin touring car powered by straw gas. The WDM has re-created the professors’ experimental car for this exhibit.

Find out more about the Straw Gas Car -->

See how this recreation Straw Gas Car was built -->

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Brooks Steamer

1926 Brooks Steamer on display

You’ve heard of steam-powered tractors. What about a steam car, or perhaps a steam bicycle? In 1926, a Brooks Steamer rolled out of the Stratford, Ontario factory. Equipped with a quick-starting flash boiler, the Brooks was ready to go in about ten minutes.

Make and Model: Brooks Steamer
Model Year: 1926
Production Location: Stratford, Ontario

Fuel Type: Water / kerosene
Seating Capacity: 5

Max speed: 56km/h

Weight: 1724 kg
Body: Composite fabric (Meritas)

See Brooks Steamer photos and artifact record -->

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Electrek

Electrek on display

Did you know that Saskatchewan Power tested a Denver-built electric car in the early 1980s? Sixteen lead-acid batteries provided the power. But in the dead of winter when the driver had to choose between power for the motor or power for the heater, testing came to a standstill.

Make and Model: Electrek
Model Year: 1981
Production Location: Denver, Colorado

Fuelled by: 16 six volt lead-acid batteries
Seating Capacity: 5

Max speed: +100 km/h

Weight: 3350 lbs
Body: fiberglass reinforced plastic

Engine Type: 23.9 kW electric motor

ElecTrek photos and artifact record -->

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Steam Bicycle

Steam bicycle on display

Nearly 60 years after the Brooks steam powered car, Saskatoon’s Bob Grosse accepted a friend’s challenge to build a steam bike. Bob’s bike was just one reflection of his love of steam. He used an old bicycle and an engine he designed and built from scratch.

Make and Model: homemade
Model Year: 1981
Production Location: Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

Fuelled by: Steam, propane
Seating Capacity: 1

Max speed: Unknown

Weight: Unknown
Body: Bicycle

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Saskatchewan InnovationYou might also be interested in:

- Saskatchewan Innovations from the WDM Collection

- About the WDM Collection

- How to donate an artifact