Electric cars: nothing new under the sun

ER Classics Desktop 2022

However new and innovative the idea of ​​an electric car is presented, nothing could be further from the truth. More than a hundred years ago, thousands of electric cars were driving around the world. After 1925, however, the electric car quickly disappeared from the streets. Where did those electric vehicles come from and why did they actually disappear?

The electric car was developed early in the nineteenth century

For example, the Groningen professor Stratingh made an electric vehicle in 1835. But electric transport really took off fifty years later, after usable electric batteries were developed in France.

At the end of the nineteenth century, expectations about the use of the electric motor in the car were high. For example, 'De Kampioen' writes from our archives in the summer of 1898: 'It is foreseeable that the means of transport of the future will mainly be moved by electric motive power. Electric cars are more mechanically reliable and much more comfortable than cars with combustion engines. The car shakes less, makes much less noise and the occupants are not bothered by exhaust fumes. '

They were also fast

Moreover, electric cars did not need to be switched and were faster than petrol cars of that time. And so Camille Jenatzy became the first to break the 100 km / h speed barrier. Jenatzy, who had gone to Paris to become an engineer, was interested in electricity and in particular electric propulsion. He set up a factory that produced electric vans. And thus his record car. 'La Jamais Contente' was therefore powered by two electric motors that together delivered just under 70 hp.

On April 29, 1899, the Belgian drove in Achères with his 'Jamais Contente' (never satisfied) the full 105,88 km / h. In 1899 this was the World Land Speed ​​Record that had previously been set by Count Gaston de Chasseloup-Laubat at 92,78 km / h.

It seemed to be so beautiful

The electric car was hugely popular around 1900 and you could see that from the number of taxi companies that drove around with electric cars at the time. After all, taxis were and are mainly used in the city, and are therefore the ideal place to make short journeys with a clean, quiet, electric car. In 1908 the Amsterdamse Rijtuigmaatschappij founded the ATAX (Amsterdam Taxameter Automobielen Maatschappij). That company buys a number of NAMAGs in Germany and opened charging stations on the Keizersgracht and in the Beursstraat. The company became a great success, around 1914 the ATAX had some sixty electric taxis in service and a branch was opened in Haarlem.

Most electric cars in the Netherlands came from France or Germany. In Berlin and Hamburg, large numbers of electric taxis were 'put on the market', aided by municipal authorities who - then! - wanted to keep the nuisance petrol taxis out of the city. In France, Bouquet, Jeantaud and Kriéger worked hard on the road. De Dion-Bouton - around 1900 the largest factory for cars with combustion engines - also made electric vehicles. The market in the United States turned out to be gigantic, dozens of companies made their electric cars there, whether or not under license.

It passed

Many of these manufacturers disappeared with the rise and development of the combustion engine, but others successfully made the switch to the combustion engine. Electric drive turned out to have too many disadvantages. The range was too short and the speed, due to the heavy batteries, too low. Only with the arrival of the lithium-ion battery at the beginning of the twenty-first century did the electric car get a new chance. And before they become classics?

When the future was still electric

For the time being we think this is enough in terms of 'Stekkeren'



Give a reaction
  1. my Volvo Amazon from 1965 from Sweden also has such a cable from under the hood.
    If you connect it in the evening, the engine block will be nice and warm the next morning.
    So, start and immediately warm up in the cabin… .55 years ago !!!!

  2. Graphene as the basis of a battery has virtually no ohmic resistance (LiOn does) and will not ignite the battery in the event of overload / closure because, for example, a closure in a Tesla battery or the like, the formula p = I2 * R comes into effect. This will result in a burning battery that CANNOT be extinguished with water. See fire in the parking garage in Alkmaar (?) Of an electric car. Also not recommended with a battery voltage of 400 V. The extinguishing firefighter then becomes a kind of earth electrode / Christmas tree.
    There are quite a few examples of burning batteries (on Ytube).
    I think it is good to wait a little longer for Grafene, unless the boss 'forces' you to drive electric 😎 Maybe that will also make it a bit more affordable. 💩

  3. Due to the thickness of the cord, there is a battery charger in the engine compartment. Anyway, the question is: what do you think the function of the cord is?

  4. Funny that there is a photo at the top of an Audi 100
    In 1989 Audi had the Audi duo.
    A 100 Avant with hybrid technology, as an experiment.

  5. “Nice, though, an electric car ……. And nice that we want to make everything electric …… but of course we are also a bit more vulnerable when everything becomes electric …… .., a little solar storm throws everything down and a bit of a EMP bomb and we can't cook our food one more time ... .. after all we have to do everything electrically .......

    • Zibro stove (can also be lit with a match AND has 100% efficiency), wood stove (with 3,5m chimney😜) For cooking / heating. What then remains is that for the big message you have to be dug a latrine because tap water is ELECTICALLY pumped. So with that EMP going off or solar storm racing past you are about 2000 years back in time.
      I only hope that my GL1100 survived the plop, which I put into hibernation this weekend and I am waiting for March 1 with disconnected battery (hopefully 2021 🤔)

  6. Have ever heard a story of an engineer / constructor from the US of A who had developed a very good electric car and accompanying battery, but was declared crazy by the car industry and fuel companies there, locked up and all his drawings, working car and apparently very good batteries have disappeared
    Is this known to even more readers?
    Chrysler in particular seemed to have played a considerable part in this, at least in the disappearance.

    • what I know about it was not an electric car but a car with oxygen as fuel. The fact that this did not get through is because the earth's oxygen system would become overloaded, causing the living beings on earth to come with too little oxygen. this man wanted to put his engine on the market and kept going. this was dangerous for the eco-system and unfortunately one could not help but remove him.

  7. By analogy, the same phenomenon has occurred with the blimps. After the Hindenburg disaster in 1937, the development of zeppelins was halted and the aircraft took over.

    • More or less. The problem with land planes was their relatively short range. As an interim solution, flying boats were used, which were as comfortable as airships but a lot faster, less sensitive to weather and less flammable. Until the DC-7 and Connie could cross the ocean non-stop. New E-airships are not yet showing themselves in great numbers.

  8. The real death knell for electric cars came with the introduction of the starter motor by Cadillac in 1912. Cranking a petrol engine was not for everyone.

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