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Were There Electric Cars Before the Tesla?

Cars running on gasoline and electricity have made many advancements since the Early Automotive Age. With the numerous improvements in automotive technology, the electric car today will sure drive gasoline cars off the road soon! 

Even before the invention of Teslas, electric cars were already widespread by the 1900s. They became symbols for the affluent and were common in urban areas about a third of the cars on the road were run by electricity.

The Eminence of the Electric Car

The Early Automotive Age from 1896 to 1930 bought many changes to the transportation system because of the countless innovations that would revolutionize cars forever. More than a thousand car manufacturers were active in the United States during that period, giving way to many changes and progress in the current automotive.

Although Europe started studying the concept of battery-powered cars in the 1830s, their progress was beaten by the United States in 1890 when they debuted the first official electric car produced by a scientist in Iowa. The electrically charged wagon could go up to 14 miles per hour.

During the 1900s, electric cars became a symbol to the upper-class citizens of America. The fame of electric vehicles gave way to the production of electric taxis, and it even became one of the most abundant vehicles seen on the roads.

The cities grew a liking to electric cars, and it was most famous among wealthy women who struggled with the smell and the loudness that gasoline cars exuded.

The designers of electric passenger car-carrying vehicles have made great advances in the past few years, and these machines have retained all their early popularity and are steadily growing in favor with both men and women. Even the best known and most prominent makers of gasoline cars in this country use electrics for driving between their homes and their offices.

The New York Times

(Source: Curbed

Fritchle’s Legacy

Oliver P. Fritchle was an auto repairman, chemist, and electrical engineer. Deemed as one of the most unconventional electric car producers, he debuted his first electric car in 1906 and established his production plant in Denver two years later.

He’d produced the best car battery at that time as it gave electric cars the capacity to run for a hundred miles before it needed recharging. With his invention, he advertised his cars as the 100-mile Fritchle.

He gained more success as celebrities favored his cars, even launching a sales office on Fifth Avenue in New York for the sole purpose of providing for the wealthy. (Source: Curbed

The Electric Car’s Comeback 

The trend of electric car usage reached its pinnacle in 1912. Its utilization declined due to the many improvements in the production of fuel-powered vehicles.

Henry Ford’s gasoline-powered Model T marked the downfall of the electric car in 1908. Four years passed, and gasoline-powered cars became even more accessible due to Charles Kettering’s invention of the electric automobile starter and the decreased gasoline price.  

In 1935, the usage of electric cars came to a stop, but it reappeared again after many decades. The Electric and Hybrid Vehicle Research, Development, and Demonstration Act gave way for new advancements in electrically charged and hybrid cars. The 1970s came, and no electric car managed to surpass the Fritchle’s 100 mileage capacity.

Much progress has been achieved, and now, it’s become common for people to see Priuses, Teslas, and other electric cars launch improved versions of their models with added solar roof tiles or an increased charging network. (Source: Curbed)

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