Battery Switch Technology


Wednesday, January 13, 2010

The Old Timer

Jan 12, 2010

Electric cars hardly new, as 1922 model proves at Detroit auto show

Pick your cliche: Everything old is new again. What goes 'round comes 'round. Nothing new under the sun. They all apply to electric cars. Around the turn of the century -- the nineteenth into the twentieth -- electrics outsold gasoline and steam-power cars combined.

As gasoline cars grew in popularity, electric makers pitched theirs to women, who sometimes had trouble with, or balked at the crude nature of, crank-starting gas engines. Then the electric stater was invented for gasoline engines and the electric car business evaporated as fast as dry ice at room temperature.

This 1922 Detroit Electric, parked in the lobby of  Cobo Center, home to the annual Detroit auto show, was priced equivalent to about $38,000 in today's money, according to info provided by the Henry Ford Museum. And it went an estimated 60 miles on the batteries -- a longer range than some of the electrics that today's automakers are boasting for their new electrics, coming in a year or two.

-- James R. Healey/Test Drive

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