electric cars then and now

Page 268 of "The Horseless Age" written 1909 in has this to say about electric cars.

The Electric Vehicle Field from Standpoint of the Central Station

"The Electrical World of New York, a leading electrical journal, publishes in its August 5 1909 number the results of an investigation which it has been making relative to the extent and conditions of use of electric vehicles with special reference to the relations subsisting between electrical supply companies and the electric vehicle. Inquiry sheets including eighteen questions were sent to about 4,000 central stations in all parts of the country and answers were received from about 1,500 of the companies thus addressed. The questions asked had reference to whether the central station addressed was taking any part in pushing electric vehicles, the extent of the local use of these cars, the prices charged for charging current, and for garaging the number of local garages having facilities for caring for electrics, and several other topics. The general object of the inquiry in addition to securing statistics was to awaken interest among electric light and power companies in the electric vehicle as a source of revenue. The report is well worth reading by everyone who takes an interest in electric motor cars.

Some of the facts brought out are briefly summarized here. A very considerable proportion of the corporations addressed reported "nothing doing" in the electric vehicle line in their localities and it is evident that there are large sections of the country where the electric is practically unknown especially in the South and West. In a large number of instances the districts reported upon were regarded as too hilly or too sandy to make the introduction of the electric a practical matter and in certain cases the few electrics which had been introduced were reported to have been discarded in favor of gasoline cars. In some of the smaller and less favored towns of the South and West the streets were reported to be of such a wretched character as to be impracticable for electric vehicles or indeed for automobiles of any motive power. Quite a number of correspondents stated that their towns were too small to render the use of exclusively town vehicles desirable and that the surrounding country was unfitted for electrics. Certain replies also indicated that the gasoline vehicle had acquired the whole local field and that a strong prejudice existed against the electric or at least an almost complete lack of information regarding its capabilities High initial cost and limited radius of action appear to have been the shortcomings generally urged against it. From the replies received it appeared that about 500 of the companies addressed were more or less awake to the possibilities of the electric vehicle field and it is a significant fact that these companies represent forty one States and Territories of the Union About 250 of these corporations sent in definite information as to their activities in this line ranging from an intended entrance into the charging field to an aggressive campaign for business A number of these central stations expressed themselves as desirous of handling electric vehicles and others of securing full data regarding their operation and charging According to data secured it is safe to say that there are about 10,000 electric vehicles in use in this country..."

General motors says in 2007: "Even so, electric vehicles, in general, had limitations. They had limited range, limited room for passengers or luggage, couldn’t climb a hill or run the air conditioning without depleting the battery, and had no device to get you home when the battery’s charge ran low."

time to watch Who Killed the Electric Car. fun: electric car races Ferrari