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If We Only Knew Then ...
At the turn of the 20th century electric vehicles outsold all other types of cars in America. The electric car had many advantages over the gasoline powered car. After all there was no vibration, noise or smell with electric cars. Driving was also much easier since there was no manual crank nor was there gear shifting, two troublesome areas for gasoline cars.
The world record for land speed (68 mph) was set by a Belgian built electric racing car called "La Jamais Contente".
So the question is: what happened? We are only now starting to see the re-emergence of competitive electric vehicles with the Chevy Volt more than one hundred years later. And even this is in doubt with General Motors teetering near bankruptcy.
Unfortunately, the discovery of Texas oil, the invention of the electric starter, the development of inter-city roads and Henry Ford's mass production of the internal combustion engine vehicle all led to the downfall of the electric car.
Just think where we would be with the electric car now if all the research and money put into engines based on fossil-fuel had been allocated towards battery development and electic cars.
If we only knew then what we know now...
Steve Auger is the editor/owner of Blog On Smog.
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