September 06, 2006

Today in Automotive History

1900: New electric-car speed record is set

Andrew L. Riker set a new speed record on this day, driving an electric car. His time of 10 minutes, 20 seconds established a new low for the five-mile track in Newport, Rhode Island, proving that the electric car could compete with its noisier petroleum-fueled cousins. In fact, the electric car remained competitive until 1920, often preferred for its low maintenance cost and quiet engine. However, developments in gasoline engine technology, along with the advent of cheaper, mass-produced non-electrics like the Model T, proved to be the death knell of the electric car. However, rising fuel costs in the late 1960s and 1970s renewed interest in the electric car, and several working models have recently been sold in small numbers.

Posted by Quality Weenie at September 6, 2006 07:39 AM | TrackBack