"The electric carriage has made a good record for speed, and the great ease of control and the absence of noise and odor will commend it to those who are anxious to purchase horseless carriages," wrote Scientific American in 1895.
With a name like Electrobat, you'd expect people to remember it. Chemist Pedro Salom and engineer Henry Morris of Philadelphia received the first US patent for an electric car, and this was the result. Boasting a steel tube frame and weighing 800 lbs (363 kg), it features front-wheel drive, rear-wheel steering, three forward gears, and reverse. Its 350 lb (159 kg) battery and two 1.5 hp (1.1 kW) motors could go 15 mph for 25 miles (24 km/h for 40 km). Philadelphia lawyer Isaac Rice eventually assumed control of the company, changing its name to the Electric Vehicle Company, or EVC, and amassed more than 500 battery patents before selling it to New York City financier William Whitney.
If it seems that electric cars are the future of the automobile, the same was true more than a century ago. With automakers planning to meet government laws ending new internal combustion engine production by 2035, this year's Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance—which takes place May 20-23 in Florida—is a reminder that electric cars are far from a new idea.
Hope to see you at Amelia Island with Tanya Wendel Breck and the GreenTV film crews! This is from last year so stay tuned for 2021's footage and interviews!
Courtesy Larry Printz at Technica!