Jul
18
Classic Car Ads: Electric Cars

General Motors EV1

A fun fact shared often in the automotive media is that electric cars fairly handily outsold gasoline-powered vehicles in the earliest days of the automobile era. Around the turn of the century, 40 percent of American automobiles were powered by steam, 38 percent by electricity, and just 22 percent by gasoline. (Granted, we’re only talking about a few thousand vehicles here, since the entire industry was in its infancy.)

What do we make of this? That initially, electric power was considered the powertrain of choice for early upscale and luxury vehicles, this because of the lack of smoke, engine noise, or the handling of smelly gasoline.

Gasoline soon won out as the powertrain of choice, of course, because battery capacity couldn’t keep up with the public’s demand for better driving range and power. And, as gasoline marketing modernized, the whole filling-up thing became less of an awkward chore.

Electric vehicles are making a comeback, as you may have noticed, because battery technology now affords EV owners greater range than ever before, and at prices that are approaching reasonable.

To celebrate the lifecycle of the electric car, we have gathered here for you a dozen EV print ads that cover more than a century of automotive history. Enjoy them, and let us know if any of the ads compels you to go electric.

More classic car ads

 

Classic Car Ads: Electric Cars

1905 Baker Electrics

1905 Baker Electric

1905 Baker Electrics

Zap! Xebra: The EV No One Needs to Know About

 

1910 Studebaker

1910 Studebaker

1910 Studebaker

More electric-vehicle news and reviews

 

1912 Buffalo Electric

1912 Buffalo Electric

1912 Buffalo Electric

Plug-in Perspective: Electric Pickup Trucks in Profile

 

Electric Vehicle Association of America (1912)

Electric Vehicle Association of America (1912)

Electric Vehicle Association of America (1912)

CES 2022: Chrysler Airflow Concept

 

1948 Autoette

1948 Autoette

1948 Autoette

iPhone Maker Foxconn Enters EV Fray: Meet Foxtron

 

1960 Electric Shopper

1960 Electric Shopper

1960 Electric Shopper

Meet GM’s Best Selling EV: Wuling Hongguang Mini EV

 

1962 Henney Kilowatt

1962 Henney Kilowatt

1962 Henney Kilowatt

What Was The Henney Kilowatt?

 

1974 La Citadine

1974 La Citadine

1974 La Citadine (France)

The End of Terrestrial Radio? Electric Cars and AM Radio

 

1980 Comuta-Car

1980 Comuta-Car

1980 Comuta-Car

What is the Lordstown Endurance?

 

General Motors Electric Vehicle Drive Preview (1994)

1994 General Motors Electric Vehicle Drive Preview (1994), GM EV1

General Motors Electric Vehicle Drive Preview (1994)

Meet the New GM Logo

 

2012 Coda

2012 Coda

2012 Coda

Forgotten Concept: Chevrolet Electrovette

 

2017 Manhindra Reva e2o

2017 Manhindra Reva e2o

2017 Manhindra Reva e2o (India)

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Classic Car Ads: Electric Cars Gallery

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Classic Car Ads: Electric Cars

What Was The Henney Kilowatt?

Classic Car Ads: Electric Cars

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