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I thought these were worth sharing. EV's were popular before gasoline cars.


1915 Detroit Electric

Girls dig electric cars. At least that was the marketing message back in 1915, when petrol-powered autos were beginning to decisively pull away from electric ones. Battery-powered vehicles retained popularity among female drivers in cities, who valued them for their reliability — they wouldn't blow up, as gas cars were known to do on occasion — and ease of use. Clara Ford, wife of Henry, whose Model T all but decimated the electric car, drove a 1914 Detroit Electric. (What her husband made of the fact that she wasn't driving a Ford is lost to history.) The Detroit models could run 80 miles on a single charge, with a top speed of about 20 mph. Pokey, but this was before the age of Danica Patrick. In 2012 Toyota was advertising "regenerative braking", the Detroit Electric started using that in 1915

The Detroit Electric Automobile
Vintage American know how

An electric car that can go over 200 miles on a single charge? What modern day miracle is this? What if we told you that this modern day miracle is almost 100 years old? How about a plug in electric car from the early 1900's? In 1914 a Detroit Electric went 241 miles on a single charge setting a new record! To be fair the car had a top speed of 25 MPH but that was almost 100 years ago and the new electric cars can go maybe 100 miles on a charge, on a good day, downhill, with a little breeze and a nice smooth road. In 1914 they were traveling over dirt roads or maybe at best cobblestone.
The real killer for the electric car was the invention of the electric starter or at least the first working one in 1911 by Charles F. Kettering of Dayton Electric Laboratories (DELCO). It was first used in 1912 by Cadillac.

Well-dressed society women could simply drive to lunch, to shop, or to visit friends without fear of soiling their gloves, mussing their hair or setting their dresses on fire.

“These were women’s shopping cars,” said Mr. Leno, who is a serious hands-on collector of autos and motorcycles dating from the 1800s to the present. “There was no gas or oil, no fire, no explosions — you just sort of got in and you went. There were thousands of these in New York, from about 1905 to 1915. There were charging stations all over town, so ladies could recharge their cars while they were in the stores.”


Sources


http://www.detroitelectric.org/


http://content.time.com/time/specials/2007/article/0,28804,1669723_1669725_1669734,00.html

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/08/05/automobiles/05BAKER.html?pagewanted=all
 

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She wouldn't drive her husbands car?



How could we all get so lucky?
 

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Excellent post, jljeeper! You have gathered in one post the information that was spread out in many sources. Some of the forum members knew this information, because a true EV fan will use the vast resources of the World Wide Web to look up and read the articles, and see the illustrations. I visited Dearborn, Michigan in November 1989, and I did get to the entrance of the Ford Museum but my fellow travelers who were not automotive fans, didn't want to visit the Museum, so I lost the opportunity of seeing up close the Detroit Electric that Clare Ford drove. According to the Museum, that electric car is 100% functional. All it needs is a charge in its Edison battery and air in its tires!

I read somewhere that she established some of her own travel records as she drove that car for many miles. How she get it recharged is a story that even Elon Musk would had enjoyed.

BTW, there were many famous (and faster) women drivers before Danica Patrick. in 1965, Craig Breedlove's wife, Lee Breedlove, took his Goodyear sponsored Sonic 1, making four passes and achieving 308.506 mph (496.492 km/h), making her the fastest woman alive (and still holds that record):
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Craig_Breedlove

And there are the stories of female drag racers and stock car racers who left their mark on racing history. I bet Danica read about them before starting her career!

EV manufacturers should go back to the past and revive the reasons women drove electric cars as the reasons to drive them again. I know many women, including my wife, who would enjoy driving electrics now if we could buy them.
 

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