We Could Have Had Electric Cars from the Very Beginning

Early electric cars performed better in cities than internal combustion vehicles, but didn’t give riders the same illusion of freedom and masculine derring-do.

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Hasnain says:

This was such an interesting trip down memory lane, going into society and automotives.

"So, the electric was a perfectly viable automobile for city traffic, superior to the gas car in many ways. Yet it provided neither the thrill and danger that rescued Vanderbilt from his ennui nor the romance of the open road and escapism of the bicycle. A 1902 report on “The Problem of the Automobile” in Electrical World and Engineer pointed out that the EV would never afford the freedom of the bicycle or gasoline car. Even if charging points or battery-swapping stations were available in the hinterland, the writer concluded, “One does not wish to limit his country tour to lines of travel along which he can strike charging facilities . . . [one] wants to have a certain liberty of action which a journey fully prearranged cannot give.” Had the EV won out against the IC car in those early days, our patterns of life would now be entirely different. Indeed, had this period of random technological mutation selected for the electric, the social history of America would be unrecognizable. The EV struggles in the marketplace today because it is a pigeon being asked to swim like a goldfish. We live in the world the IC automobile made. That world is not conducive to mass transit or even walking. It is little wonder that the EV, too, struggles to compete on the IC’s terms."

Posted on 2019-06-15T23:59:27+0000