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Which of These Early Electric Cars Would You Have Driven?

 When we think of electric cars we almost instantly picture fancy futuristic, battery-powered vehicles that we can drive with abandon. While electric cars continue rising in popularity today, they were introduced more than 100 years ago. However, the first electric vehicles were a far cry from the trendy ones we are used to seeing on the roads today. 

The history of the invention of the electric car can’t exactly be traced back to one inventor or country. In fact, it was a series of breakthroughs in the 1800s that helped drive the first electric vehicle on the road. These cars were popular then for exactly the same reason they are popular now – they helped people save money at the pump. From the making of the first battery to the electric motor, many noted inventors and engineers contributed towards designing the early electric car.

French inventor Gustave Trouvé is widely regarded as the man who developed the first electric vehicle in history. His electric tricycle had a rechargeable battery and was first tested along the Rue Valois in Paris central in 1881. Then, in 1890-91, William Morrison of Des Moines, Iowa, gave the United States its first electric car. The vehicle had the capacity for carrying six passengers and could reach a speed of 23 kilometers per hour (14 mph).

Since then, several other inventors improved upon the electric car designs. In the late 1890s and early 1900s, electric battery-powered cars became quite popular among the common folk, and sales of these wagons particularly peaked in the early 1910s. Now, it is likely that your interest in these early electric cars must have increased. Here is a look, then, at some fascinating pictures of classy vintage electric cars in history. 

1. The electric tricycle of Gustave Trouvé from 1881. The first electric vehicle in history. 

Oldest electric cars, Gustave Trouvé
Image source - Wikimedia Commons

2. Thomas Edison poses with an electric car, 1913.

Oldest electric cars, Thomas Edison Image source - Wikimedia Commons

3. The Flocken Elektrowagen of 1888 by German inventor Andreas Flocken.

Oldest electric cars,  Flocken Elektrowagen Image source - Wikimedia Commons

4. An advertisement for one of the earliest Columbia electric cars in 1901.

Oldest electric cars, Columbia electric car

Image source - Wikimedia Commons

5. Engineer and inventor Henri Tudor steering his electric "break" car, which had been built around the year 1902 by J. Lefert in Gent. The car was fitted with Tudor lead batteries.

Oldest electric cars, Henri Tudor

Image source - Wikimedia Commons

6. Columbia Electric’s (1896-99) popular "Victoria" electric cab on Pennsylvania Ave., Washington City, seen from Lafayette Park in 1905.

Oldest electric cars, "Victoria" electric cabImage source - Wikimedia Commons

7. An electric street sweeper cleans the roadway in Berlin, Germany, 1907.

Oldest electric cars,  An electric street sweeper

Image source - Reddit/ r/TheWayWeWere

8. An advertisement for a Detroit Electric electric car, 1912.

Oldest electric cars, Detroit Electric electric car. ad

Image source - Wikimedia Commons

Related article: History's 7 Oldest Vehicles You Must Know About

9. Belgian race car driver Camille Jenatzy at the 1912 Belgian Grand Prix.

Oldest electric cars, race car driver Camille Jenatzy

Image source - Wikimedia Commons

10. A woman uses a hand-cranked battery charger to charge her electric Columbia Mark 68 Victoria car. The automobile was made by the Pope Manufacturing Company in 1906 and the charger in 1912.

Oldest electric cars, hand-cranked battery charger

Image source - Twitter/ Parkings Marquesinas

11. A Rauch & Lang Carriage Company advertisement in the Theatre magazine, 1911.

Oldest electric cars, advertisement
Image source - Wikimedia Commons

12. Noted scholar Dr. Evlyn Farris posing with her electric car in 1919.

Oldest electric cars, Evlyn Farris posing with her electric car
Image source - Wikimedia Commons
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