38% Of American Cars Were Electric In 1900

38% Of American Cars Were Electric In 1900

In our modern era, we may assume that electric cars are new technology. The Chevy Bolt, Nissan LEAF, and all Tesla vehicles are certainly cutting-edge automobiles, right? But there was a period in America a long time ago when about 30% of all cars were electric. (Today, only about 1% of the fleet runs on electricity.) Electric cars were first created in the early to mid-1800s.

In 1898, Dr. Ferdinand Porsche, when 23 years old, built his first car, and it was the Lohner Electric Chaise. Also in 1898, Count Gaston de Chasseloup-Laubat of Paris set a world speed record in a car, which happened to be in his electric Jeantaud. The speed record was 39.245 mph (62.8 km/h), but that was crushed a few days later by another electric car that went 65.79 mph (105.88 km/h).

By 1900, in the United States, 38% of US automobiles, 33,842 cars, were powered by electricity (40% were powered by steam, and 22% by gasoline).

During this period, Edison was very enthusiastic about the potential of electric vehicles, “I believe that ultimately the electric motor will be universally used for trucking in all large cities, and that the electric automobile will be the family carriage of the future. All trucking must come to electricity. I am convinced that it will not be long before all the trucking in New York City will be electric.” Henry Ford’s wife, Clara, actually preferred an EV over a Ford gasmobile. Her preferred brand seemed to be Detroit Electric.

See https://cleantechnica.com/2018/02/25/38-percent-american-cars-electric-1900/


38% Of American Cars Were Electric In 1900 | CleanTechnica
Electric cars were more popular decades ago, but they are experiencing a resurgence.

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