Sure, the long wait for the Tesla Model 3 may extend into 2019. And sure, electric vehicles may be the future. But despite growing interest today, the concept of electric vehicles is just a resuscitation of a long-dormant method of commuting—one that first materialized in the 1800s. Happy Sunday! Welcome to Holy Shift, where we highlight big innovations in the auto and racing industries each week—whether they be necessary or simply for comfort. If there ever was a perfect application for the phase “ahead of its time,” the idea of an electric car is probably it. That’s not to say the cars weren’t popular 100 years ago—in fact, the U.S. Department of Energy cites electric cars as making up about a third of all vehicles on the road in 1900. In 1911, the New York Times even called existing electric vehicles “ideal.” But, by 1935, electric cars were nearly nonexistent. It took decades for that to change. Let’s start at the beginning. Attempts at electric vehicles came as early as the 1830s, with some of them being successful—according to PBS, the first practical electric vehicle was a small locomotive built by American Thomas Davenport in 1835. As for full-size automobiles,… Read full this story
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