Did you know? Electric Car Revolution 1912
At the turn of the century, tens of thousands of electric cars buzzed through the cities of the world. Over 565 electric car brands were registered before the Second World War. In 1900, around 60,000 battery-powered cars were on the road in the USA alone. What sounds like a vision of the 21st century’s future was actually a long time ago. The unique boom radiated far beyond the USA. In 1912, electric vehicles were produced in almost all industrial nations. People loved the promising technology, kings from Asia and Europe ordered the wonder car for their fleets. The breakthrough of the electric motor took place as early as 1889 at a race in Achéres, France. On the starting line were two cigar-shaped electric single-seaters. One was the Belgian constructor Camille Jenatzy and the other was the world speed record holder Gastron de Chasseloup-Laubat. When the starting signal was given, the 65-centimetre-high pneumatic tyres spun off and raced the two-kilometre stretch at top speed. The spectators cheered at the finish line. Jenatzy set the new world record with 105.88 kilometres per hour. The world was overwhelmed by the new technical possibilities. At that time, cars with combustion engines jerked, stank and smoked and had to be thrown on with great power by a crank. The fuel could be bought initially only in pharmacies. In 1920 oil became affordable and thus the combustion engine dominated the automobile market.
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