Plug-In Pioneers: Electra Woman & Dyna Girl!?

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When it comes to reminiscing about old TV shows, we find they fall into one of two categories -- shows we really miss, or shows so bad they make us cringe to think about. 

Electra Woman and Dyna Girl -- a 16 week live action kids show from 1976 -- most certainly falls into the latter category, but does at least have one redeeming feature according to our editor Marty Padgett.

The heroines drove an electric car. 

Admittedly, it looked more like a three-wheeled speedboat than a regular car. It also had no doors, windows or creature comforts and looked about as stable as a unicycle. 

It could also fly into the Earth’s upper atmosphere. 

But back in the gas-starved 70s, the Electra-Car (or ElectraPlane when it was flying) at least gave kids a hopeful future where electric cars could fight crime, good won out over evil, and everyone wore bright orange spandex costumes. 

Luckily for us, Electra Woman and Dyna Girl’s fashion sense hasn’t caught on, but is their taste in cars responsible for many Generation X car buyers making the switch from gasoline to electric?

Perhaps we’ll never know, but if you have fond memories of the short-lived show, there’s a healthy selection of Electra Woman and Dyna Girl clips on Youtube, plus the not-aired pilot of the more adult, comedy version from 2001.

What classic (or cult) TV shows inspired you to go electric? Let us know in the Comments below. 


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Comments (8)
  1. I was too young to realize that car was electric. I do remember that I thought it was very ugly. What got me hooked on electric cars was the very first one made; it looked like a Wells Fargo Stagecoach, and I thought that car was the greatest thing I've ever seen. After that, I always wondered why we stopped using electricity to move our butts around from one place to another.

  2. So the story goes, that the Evil 'Glitter Rock' can take over the world and subjugate the masses by putting on an evil rock concert. Hmm, I guess the modern equivalent would be a Justin Bieber concert. Lovely girl that Justin Bieber.

  3. Maybe people have come to expect EVs to have a futuristic look because of shows like this. So maybe EV makers should have incorporated some of those expectations in their models, but the opposite happened: even a purpose designed offering like the Leaf was made to look not too different out of fear of putting people off. But wouldn't people want their EV to look different so it won't be mistaken for a regular ICE vehicle? Instead Nissan even took the trouble of making the motor/power electronic assembly look like a regular ICE so even popping the hood would offer a familiar sight.

    Only Tesla seems to be adding a touch of sci-fi to it's models in the form of “frunks”, “falcon doors” and giant touch screens and it seems to be paying off.

  4. Aptera anyone?

  5. However Tesla does it with style. Tesla added the 17 inch touch screen as a way to make the car's technology as good as or better than your Iphone or Android. Aptera designed a bizarro looking 3 wheeled 2 seater that was impractical and only had appeal to a small cliental and thats why it failed. Tesla designs practical and stylish vehicles that target the best gasoline vehicles at the price point they are going to compete with. The Model S will compete with $50,000 BMW and Mercedes as well as Cadillacs and Lincolns. Also it is not a comprimised car and will go at least 160 miles on a charge in its base form unlike the Leaf which is range limited to about 75 miles. I routinely drive over 75-90 miles but seldom do I exceed 160 miles per day.

  6. Be careful not to compare apples and oranges here. The Leaf is EPA rated at 340WH/mile which results in 73 miles of range. The base Model S has a range of a 160 miles based on Tesla's projections of 250WH/mile. Since even the most economical car on the market, the Mitsubishi iMiEV is EPA rated at 300 WH/mile it's unlikely that a car twice it's size will be EPA rated anywhere near Tesla's projections.

  7. Everyone likes to bash Aptera's futuristic looks and claim that's why it failed. Wrong. They failed because the CEO was a bad businessman that made critical mistakes. The futuristic design had 4000 people sign up to buy it in California alone.

  8. The Model S is a real car and looks as nice as any high end ICE luxury car. The Model S is powerful and does a zero to 60 in 5 seconds. The Aptera had a zero to 60 of 10 seconds which is slow by todays standards. It only seated 2 people and had little to no room for their belongings. I want practical and a 3 wheeled design with no space for you or your belongings certainly would not have as many takers compared to the luxurious Tesla Model S.

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