Back to the Future – Electric Cars of the Past

In 2017, I visited my friend Helmut in Holland. In Den Hague, there you can find the Louwman Museum, an amazing car museum that also has a nice collection of early 20th century electric cars.

The first one shown here is a 1908 Baker Electric Roadster built in the USA by Walter Baker, who started working on electric cars in 1893 already. Although first successful, Baker stopped production of electric cars in 1916. Ironically, the invention of the electric starter for combustion engines, increased the popularity of petrol-powered vehicles substantially.

1908 – Baker Electric Roadster, USA

Next, the “Detroit Electric Clear Vision Brougham” from 1912. The Detroit Electric was one of the market leader with an annual production of about 1500 vehicles. Their Clear Vision Brougham had a reach of about 100 miles with full batteries. Detroit Electric existed until 1930, an extended period compared to other electric car manufacturers, thanks due to the production of electric delivery vans for bakers and milkmen.

1912 – Detroit Electric’ Clear Vision Brougham, USA

In 1905, Hedag (Hamburger Elektrische Droschken Aktien Gesellschaft) built this electric Brougham in Germany. It had already two motors mounted on the front wheels. The Hedag was further equipped with four-wheel brakes, something completely new for the time. The Hedag was mainly used as Taxi. Note also the little Bell in the front, to warn pedestrian of the approaching unusual silent vehicle…

1905 – Hedag, Germany

Electric powered cars did not survive very long. Soon, petrol cars with 4 – 12 cylinders took over the streets of the world, until today. Just look at those slick petrol cars of the past, like the one below….

2 thoughts on “Back to the Future – Electric Cars of the Past”

  1. Ich erinnere mich dass es dort elektrische Autos gab, aber ich hab nicht gemerkt dass du so viele Fotos genommen hast. Muss wieder mal hingehen wenn es wieder offen ist.

    1. Helmut, die hatten auch einen Hybrid, leider habe ich nur das Schild photographiert und nicht das Auto. Wenn ich dich das nächste Mal besuchen kommen, sollten wir wieder hingehen.

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