Conventional Cars no image

Published on April 19th, 2009 | by Jake Richardson

68

9 Electric Cars 100 Years Old or More


1891 Morrison

morrison electric

Made by William Morrison in 1891, some say the Morrison was the first electric vehicle in America. It had a four horsepower engine , and could carry 6-12 passengers. Top speed was about 20 mph. The batteries needed to be recharged every 50 miles.

It has been said the car was actually completed in 1887 and was driven in a Des Moines parade in 1888. If that is true, the Morrison was first built 122 years ago, and it was built in America, where today they are almost no electric cars on the roads.

Electrobat 1894-1899

 electrobat

 Electrobats were made for several years in Philadelphia. The first ones were very heavy and used steel tires to support a large lead battery. They employed twin 1.5 hp motors and had a top speed of 20 mph. They could go 25 miles on one charge.

 

1900 Riker

riker 1900

A bulky enclosed cabin four passenger sedan that was made about the turn of the century, the Riker featured electric sidelamps, wooden-spoked wheels, and a voice tube so passengers could communicate with the driver. Cabin windows could be raised and lowered. 48 battery cells were onboard, with an electric engine near each rear wheel. The driver’s seat was about 6-7 feet in the air. 


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About the Author

Hello, I have been writing online for some time, and enjoy the outdoors. If you like, you can follow me on Google Plus.



  • http://www.coolclimatenow.com Mark Haines

    It is amazing to me how so many of the lifestyle changes we need to make are simply stepping back in time to a more sustainable era. Its sort of like personal health…if something goes wrong , so much of the solution is simply revisiting the lifestyle that you had before you started to get sick.

  • http://www.coolclimatenow.com Mark Haines

    It is amazing to me how so many of the lifestyle changes we need to make are simply stepping back in time to a more sustainable era. Its sort of like personal health…if something goes wrong , so much of the solution is simply revisiting the lifestyle that you had before you started to get sick.

  • http://techdiplomacy.com Robert West

    The electric cars were great and the piece informative. I will be writing about the modern electric car in the coming month and this will give me prospective.

  • http://techdiplomacy.com Robert West

    The electric cars were great and the piece informative. I will be writing about the modern electric car in the coming month and this will give me prospective.

  • http://GlobalPatriot.com Global Patriot

    It’s amazing that we all think electric vehicles are a futuristic development. So often great ideas are ignored due to profit motives and a lack of visionary insight. While it’s taken more than a century, the world will look much different a century from now.

  • http://GlobalPatriot.com Global Patriot

    It’s amazing that we all think electric vehicles are a futuristic development. So often great ideas are ignored due to profit motives and a lack of visionary insight. While it’s taken more than a century, the world will look much different a century from now.

  • http://blog.renaissancecms.com Rob Chant

    Was there not also an electric Porsche from around this time period? Or was that a little later?

  • http://blog.renaissancecms.com Rob Chant

    Was there not also an electric Porsche from around this time period? Or was that a little later?

  • Steve

    i agree with you about lack of visionary insight due to profit motives. With the availability of different technologies today, It seems like a slap in the face that other modes of transportation are not available to the mass society.

  • Steve

    i agree with you about lack of visionary insight due to profit motives. With the availability of different technologies today, It seems like a slap in the face that other modes of transportation are not available to the mass society.

  • http://www.gamesfox.net games

    We could save a lot of money with electric cars, electricity is everywhere and we dont have to depend from other countries to have it, is here! is even in us humans, if in USA in 2 or 3 years 70% are electric cars, gas prices we drop to 25 cents a gallon again :-)

  • http://www.gamesfox.net games

    We could save a lot of money with electric cars, electricity is everywhere and we dont have to depend from other countries to have it, is here! is even in us humans, if in USA in 2 or 3 years 70% are electric cars, gas prices we drop to 25 cents a gallon again :-)

  • Deborah Hartz

    All good technology is bought up and is in safe’s being kept from the world. Nobody wants to work any more, or pony up money to make things better, they just want to party. Not thinking we all live on the same boat Mother’s Earth. Mother’s love can go very far…..but you can only push her so far.

  • Deborah Hartz

    All good technology is bought up and is in safe’s being kept from the world. Nobody wants to work any more, or pony up money to make things better, they just want to party. Not thinking we all live on the same boat Mother’s Earth. Mother’s love can go very far…..but you can only push her so far.

  • john

    I find it amazing that we have been able to have electric cars for 100 years let alone the last 20 or 30 years where weve been able to equal almost what a petrol car would do in terms of performance and yet were all killing ourselves with petrol fumes,I reckon theres a crime in there somewhere

  • john

    I find it amazing that we have been able to have electric cars for 100 years let alone the last 20 or 30 years where weve been able to equal almost what a petrol car would do in terms of performance and yet were all killing ourselves with petrol fumes,I reckon theres a crime in there somewhere

  • http://agrotime-blog.com agrotime blog

    Its true, the reason why electric cars seem so futuristic is that oil companies have been making so much money, SOOOO much money they have paid off the government to keep using gas/oil powered companies for as long as I have been alive and longer.

    Its just sad, not only crushing our environment, but now affecting America’s economy as the ignorant likes of GM are just now trying to make hybrids when Japanese companies have been selling them for much time. GM wants our tax money too to develop a hybrid car, I say too bad GM, you run an ignorant buisness you don’t get bailed out so easy.

    Ignorance and greed from oil companies is what has left us in this mess. Why are we in Iraq? Cause oil makes so much money it causes war, WAR, WAR! You think iraq needed our help more than other countries, well America doesn’t help countries where it can’t make a profit, atleast in the Bush Era.

    Prove me wrong Obama, and do right, I voted for you for Christ Sake.

  • http://agrotime-blog.com agrotime blog

    Its true, the reason why electric cars seem so futuristic is that oil companies have been making so much money, SOOOO much money they have paid off the government to keep using gas/oil powered companies for as long as I have been alive and longer.

    Its just sad, not only crushing our environment, but now affecting America’s economy as the ignorant likes of GM are just now trying to make hybrids when Japanese companies have been selling them for much time. GM wants our tax money too to develop a hybrid car, I say too bad GM, you run an ignorant buisness you don’t get bailed out so easy.

    Ignorance and greed from oil companies is what has left us in this mess. Why are we in Iraq? Cause oil makes so much money it causes war, WAR, WAR! You think iraq needed our help more than other countries, well America doesn’t help countries where it can’t make a profit, atleast in the Bush Era.

    Prove me wrong Obama, and do right, I voted for you for Christ Sake.

  • http://www.mirahartford.net Helder

    Sorely missing is the Pope electric automobile. Most notable about the Electric Automobile: President Teddy Roosevelt rode in it upon his visit to Hartford, CT in 1903, making him the first US President to ride in an automobile.

    http://media.photobucket.com/image/pope%20electric%20car/route66rambler/Rambler%20Timeline%20Galleries/Automobiles/1903/1903PopeElectric.jpg

  • http://www.mirahartford.net Helder

    Sorely missing is the Pope electric automobile. Most notable about the Electric Automobile: President Teddy Roosevelt rode in it upon his visit to Hartford, CT in 1903, making him the first US President to ride in an automobile.

    http://media.photobucket.com/image/pope%20electric%20car/route66rambler/Rambler%20Timeline%20Galleries/Automobiles/1903/1903PopeElectric.jpg

  • http://www.mirahartford.net Helder

    Better link to the Pope Electric Vehicles Corporation:

    http://www.timeline.route66rambler.com/tbjnco.html

  • http://www.mirahartford.net Helder

    Better link to the Pope Electric Vehicles Corporation:

    http://www.timeline.route66rambler.com/tbjnco.html

  • Texada

    It wasn’t a lack of “visionary insight” that stunted the growth of electric vehicles- it was cheap oil.

  • Texada

    It wasn’t a lack of “visionary insight” that stunted the growth of electric vehicles- it was cheap oil.

  • Dale

    You are all morons. The existence of these cars amply demonstrates the reason electric cars never succeeded – range. Simply put, there is no way to match the energy density of gasoline with batteries. In fact, it’s not even a competition. The internal combustion engine has become ubiquitous because it was the best option. Cheap, abundant, and highly energetic fuel that is easy to transport and store is a rare thing and our standard of living would have suffered if it was never available to outclass the potential of electric vehicles.

  • Dale

    You are all morons. The existence of these cars amply demonstrates the reason electric cars never succeeded – range. Simply put, there is no way to match the energy density of gasoline with batteries. In fact, it’s not even a competition. The internal combustion engine has become ubiquitous because it was the best option. Cheap, abundant, and highly energetic fuel that is easy to transport and store is a rare thing and our standard of living would have suffered if it was never available to outclass the potential of electric vehicles.

  • Dale

    Also, these vehicles all had electric MOTORS, not engines you presumptive fool.

  • Dale

    Also, these vehicles all had electric MOTORS, not engines you presumptive fool.

  • Emily Post

    “four passenger sedan that was made about the turn of the century”

    So it is what, about 8 years old? Oh, you mean the turn of the 20th century!

  • Emily Post

    “four passenger sedan that was made about the turn of the century”

    So it is what, about 8 years old? Oh, you mean the turn of the 20th century!

  • ChuckL

    Wow!!! How many of you ever do any research for facts before posting?

    Electric cars were available in the 19th century. Suitable batteries are a product of the 21st century. Electric cars lost out to petroleum cars for two reasons, performance, and range, which could be included in the performance category.

    Ferdinand Porsche designed the Volkswagen for Hitler’s peoples car before WWII. The first car bearing his name was introduced after WWII. It was essentially a pretty VW, but it quickly became what we now know as a Porsche.

    Ford did have a good performing electric car as a prototype in the late mid 20th century. It was built in England and the battery used liquid sodium and liquid sulfur as the electrolytes. This was considered too dangerous because the battery had to be kept above 500 deg. F. to keep the electrolytes liquid and then there is sodium’s penchant to burst into flames, or just explode, when exposed to water.

    The patent listed here indicates a date about 1980.

    http://www.freepatentsonline.com/4245012.html

    Then there is the little factor that most of the electricity in the U. S. is generated from coal. Our submarines and air craft carriers have been powered by nuclear generated electricity for 50 years or so, but our elected democrat representatives and senators have prevented us from using this power source even though there has never been a case of a U. S. sailor suffering from radiation burns because of this source of power. And if you wish to claim that I am picking on Democrats, you better believe it. I lived in CA for 10 years while they made it so costly that the power companies just gave up. Now I must admit that Harry Reid is one of my senators.

    Electricity is a great power source and it can now be used for many transportation needs, but as long as we have Obstructive liberals like Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi as members of congress, we have major problems.and major unnecessary costs. The technology in diesel-electric trains could be used in over the road trucks to provide the range and allow battery only use in cities. But, it will be a long time yet until we can move 40 tons of goods from LA to NYC with only battery power.

  • ChuckL

    Wow!!! How many of you ever do any research for facts before posting?

    Electric cars were available in the 19th century. Suitable batteries are a product of the 21st century. Electric cars lost out to petroleum cars for two reasons, performance, and range, which could be included in the performance category.

    Ferdinand Porsche designed the Volkswagen for Hitler’s peoples car before WWII. The first car bearing his name was introduced after WWII. It was essentially a pretty VW, but it quickly became what we now know as a Porsche.

    Ford did have a good performing electric car as a prototype in the late mid 20th century. It was built in England and the battery used liquid sodium and liquid sulfur as the electrolytes. This was considered too dangerous because the battery had to be kept above 500 deg. F. to keep the electrolytes liquid and then there is sodium’s penchant to burst into flames, or just explode, when exposed to water.

    The patent listed here indicates a date about 1980.

    http://www.freepatentsonline.com/4245012.html

    Then there is the little factor that most of the electricity in the U. S. is generated from coal. Our submarines and air craft carriers have been powered by nuclear generated electricity for 50 years or so, but our elected democrat representatives and senators have prevented us from using this power source even though there has never been a case of a U. S. sailor suffering from radiation burns because of this source of power. And if you wish to claim that I am picking on Democrats, you better believe it. I lived in CA for 10 years while they made it so costly that the power companies just gave up. Now I must admit that Harry Reid is one of my senators.

    Electricity is a great power source and it can now be used for many transportation needs, but as long as we have Obstructive liberals like Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi as members of congress, we have major problems.and major unnecessary costs. The technology in diesel-electric trains could be used in over the road trucks to provide the range and allow battery only use in cities. But, it will be a long time yet until we can move 40 tons of goods from LA to NYC with only battery power.

  • Douglas

    I see with puzzlement most comments don’t seem to take into account history. The reason gas powered cars replaced early electric cars was simple: greater efficiency of the gas engines which accelerated while electric car technology staganated, (specially on battteries), and abundance of gasoline. Gas cars became lighter, faster, had more range and eventually could be made significantly cheaper. Even today, with all our new technology we are still having problems with battery development.

  • Douglas

    I see with puzzlement most comments don’t seem to take into account history. The reason gas powered cars replaced early electric cars was simple: greater efficiency of the gas engines which accelerated while electric car technology staganated, (specially on battteries), and abundance of gasoline. Gas cars became lighter, faster, had more range and eventually could be made significantly cheaper. Even today, with all our new technology we are still having problems with battery development.

  • Pat G

    You folks who think electric is the be all and end all to cutting off the oil companies; The bulk of our electricity is generated in power plants fired by OIL and NATURAL GAS produced by the OIL COMPANIES you so disdain. Also, all of our railroad infrastructure is electric powered by on board diesel driven generators. (by the way, diesel comes from the Oil Gas companies too) We could put windmills and solar panels on every spare square inch of available space and still not produce what a few good nuclear plants could at a fraction of the price.

  • Pat G

    You folks who think electric is the be all and end all to cutting off the oil companies; The bulk of our electricity is generated in power plants fired by OIL and NATURAL GAS produced by the OIL COMPANIES you so disdain. Also, all of our railroad infrastructure is electric powered by on board diesel driven generators. (by the way, diesel comes from the Oil Gas companies too) We could put windmills and solar panels on every spare square inch of available space and still not produce what a few good nuclear plants could at a fraction of the price.

  • martin

    The energy it takes to fill these batteries is just as inefficient as their petroleum counterparts. Gasoline vehicles and gas pumps were a more efficient way to travel long distances without downtime. There was no conspiracy by the big oil companies, it was just common sense for long journeys overland. There needs to be a better solution, and if electricity was the best solution then it would have been adapted long ago. Let’s top living in the past and look for a cleaner alternative solution people!

  • martin

    The energy it takes to fill these batteries is just as inefficient as their petroleum counterparts. Gasoline vehicles and gas pumps were a more efficient way to travel long distances without downtime. There was no conspiracy by the big oil companies, it was just common sense for long journeys overland. There needs to be a better solution, and if electricity was the best solution then it would have been adapted long ago. Let’s top living in the past and look for a cleaner alternative solution people!

  • John

    Electricity can be generated by Wind and Solar. Solar could power a charger to recharge an electric vehicle.

    Some of the posters here don’t appear to have read that a 1909 Babcock drove 100 miles on a single charge! With 100 years of constant research and development, surely there would be better battteries available today.

  • John

    Electricity can be generated by Wind and Solar. Solar could power a charger to recharge an electric vehicle.

    Some of the posters here don’t appear to have read that a 1909 Babcock drove 100 miles on a single charge! With 100 years of constant research and development, surely there would be better battteries available today.

  • http://www.yourscrapbookingmemories.com/ Ryan

    Everything old is new again. Some things are going back to the way they were even where I work. Before the bean counters were king. You know the people who pretended to know how to squeeze the most profit from a company without actually knowing what the company and their processes were all about.

    http://www.eco-snob.com

  • http://www.yourscrapbookingmemories.com/ Ryan

    Everything old is new again. Some things are going back to the way they were even where I work. Before the bean counters were king. You know the people who pretended to know how to squeeze the most profit from a company without actually knowing what the company and their processes were all about.

    http://www.eco-snob.com

  • Matt

    “Everything old is new again.”

    Then people rediscover why they didn’t go that direction in the first place.

  • Matt

    “Everything old is new again.”

    Then people rediscover why they didn’t go that direction in the first place.

  • http://agrotime-blog.com agrotime blog
  • http://agrotime-blog.com agrotime blog
  • http://agrotime-blog.com agrotime blog
  • http://www.artformfunction.com Michaelc

    I have read that the electric cars of this era were popular with women and doctors. The women because it required no cranking and the doctors because it was far more reliable than the gas cars of the era (handy for housecalls).

  • http://www.artformfunction.com Michaelc

    I have read that the electric cars of this era were popular with women and doctors. The women because it required no cranking and the doctors because it was far more reliable than the gas cars of the era (handy for housecalls).

  • Jack

    Why are we hearing so much about hybrids? Perhaps so the oil companies can continue to run the world. There’s no reason we should’nt have 100% electric cars at a reasonable price. Especially with 122+ year old technology. Is there nobody with a backbone left in this world?

  • Jack

    Why are we hearing so much about hybrids? Perhaps so the oil companies can continue to run the world. There’s no reason we should’nt have 100% electric cars at a reasonable price. Especially with 122+ year old technology. Is there nobody with a backbone left in this world?

  • Jack

    Why are we hearing so much about hybrids? Perhaps so the oil companies can continue to run the world. There’s no reason we should’nt have 100% electric cars at a reasonable price. Especially with 122+ year old technology. Is there nobody with a backbone left in this world?

  • http://www.carz.com Carz

    I think the most compelling argument electric cars are futuristic is because of the fact that it’s highly unfeasible barely even a legitimate concept to make a car from.

  • http://www.carz.com Carz

    I think the most compelling argument electric cars are futuristic is because of the fact that it’s highly unfeasible barely even a legitimate concept to make a car from.

  • http://fuelzilla.com/ Fuelzilla

    Great article!

    Ah, those simple old times! I guess back then they did not know that electric cars were “an inferior technology” or “old lady cars” or whatever else electric cards were called over the years and were stubbornly building them for 20+ years. Yes, it really is a shame that electric cars were not allowed 100+ years of active development like gasoline ones. On the other hand though, we really have no one to blame. It was, after all, the greed of individuals and market forces (also, some stupid advertising campaigns of 1910s aimed only at wealthy women, who at the time did not even have the buying power) that killed the electric car for the first time yet those same forces are responsible for pretty much everything you own, use, eat. I almost also typed “breathe” but then grabbed a hold of myself – no, capitalism is not yet responsible for the air we breathe, not yet anyways…

    Oh, and a little comment about one of your pictures: the Riker Torpedo pictured was not actually called a “torpedo” being just what’s pictured – a frame on wheels, 60-cell battery and two x 2 hp electric motors, that’s it. They referred to it as just “racer” and there was a funny comment in Scientific American about that race where they say that A.L Riker would have completed the track even faster had he spent less time dodging pedestrians that could not hear an electric vehicle coming and strolled onto the track. Very telling about quality of riding in an electric vehicle – no noise!

    The “Torpedo” is actually a different vehicle (sorry I don’t have a picture in electronic format handy) – a Baker Torpedo made by Baker Motor Vehicle Company of Cleveland, OH. It was built a year after – in 1902 and was the first automobile ever to have an aerodynamic body (hence “torpedo”). It was said to run at 70 mph during tests – an amazing speed at the time – but crushed badly during the actual race, being too fast for the driver, Mr. C. Baker himself. The crush left two onlookers dead, six injured (strapped-in driver unharmed) and marked the end of street racing in America. Legal street racing that is, you understand.

    Fuelzilla

    END OF TRANSMISSION

  • http://fuelzilla.com/ Fuelzilla

    Great article!

    Ah, those simple old times! I guess back then they did not know that electric cars were “an inferior technology” or “old lady cars” or whatever else electric cards were called over the years and were stubbornly building them for 20+ years. Yes, it really is a shame that electric cars were not allowed 100+ years of active development like gasoline ones. On the other hand though, we really have no one to blame. It was, after all, the greed of individuals and market forces (also, some stupid advertising campaigns of 1910s aimed only at wealthy women, who at the time did not even have the buying power) that killed the electric car for the first time yet those same forces are responsible for pretty much everything you own, use, eat. I almost also typed “breathe” but then grabbed a hold of myself – no, capitalism is not yet responsible for the air we breathe, not yet anyways…

    Oh, and a little comment about one of your pictures: the Riker Torpedo pictured was not actually called a “torpedo” being just what’s pictured – a frame on wheels, 60-cell battery and two x 2 hp electric motors, that’s it. They referred to it as just “racer” and there was a funny comment in Scientific American about that race where they say that A.L Riker would have completed the track even faster had he spent less time dodging pedestrians that could not hear an electric vehicle coming and strolled onto the track. Very telling about quality of riding in an electric vehicle – no noise!

    The “Torpedo” is actually a different vehicle (sorry I don’t have a picture in electronic format handy) – a Baker Torpedo made by Baker Motor Vehicle Company of Cleveland, OH. It was built a year after – in 1902 and was the first automobile ever to have an aerodynamic body (hence “torpedo”). It was said to run at 70 mph during tests – an amazing speed at the time – but crushed badly during the actual race, being too fast for the driver, Mr. C. Baker himself. The crush left two onlookers dead, six injured (strapped-in driver unharmed) and marked the end of street racing in America. Legal street racing that is, you understand.

    Fuelzilla

    END OF TRANSMISSION

  • http://none William

    The modern Hybrid vehicles began as an Economy car race, won by CalTech Graduate Students who used a small gasoline engine, and a DC electric Motor, and a Storage battery (their car could not go fast with that small engine, and could not go far with that small storage battery, but it won the prize).

    After winning, they approached Detroit big three with their ideas – the same Big Three who introduced Power Steering to the US via the 1949 Chrysler New Yorker, making it possible for housewives and other ladies to drive and park an automobile in city traffic.

    The original Power Steering unit was installed on the Inventor’s (then new) Pierce Arrow and demonstrated to the Big Three for each of nearly thirty years before Chrysler adopted it.

    Toyota, recognizing the Hybrid for its true value, worked to perfect it for under twenty years, and you now know about the US origins of the Prius, and have some insight into the receptiveness of some big US industries to new ideas.

  • http://web leaann metzmeier

    nice cars when were they made and how were they made?

  • http://Web Name (required)

    it said 9 cars, I see 3, errrrr 6 more cars? bait and switch to view a lot of nothing

    • http://Web john

      You didn’t look at page 2.

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