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Tesla Motors Is Trying to Prove History Doesn’t Repeat

It’s tempting to think car companies such as Tesla Motors (NASDAQ: TSLA ) and Nissan (NASDAQOTH: NSANY ) were the first to introduce electric vehicles to world. Of course no car company before them has been able to bring such technologically advanced electric cars to the mass market — or sell as many as they have — but the electric car has had a long history before these two companies came into existence.To fully understand today’s electric automotive market, let’s look at how electric vehicles got their start.

In the beginning
According to PBS, Scottish inventor Robert Anderson built the first electric car somewhere between 1832 and 1839. Unfortunately for Anderson — and the budding horseless-carriage industry — rechargeable batteries weren’t invented until 1859, posing some serious hurdles for the electric car.

In the United States, electric cars, or EVs, burst onto the scene in 1891, when William Morrison built the first electric automobile in the country. Six years later, New York City introduced the first electric taxis built by the Electric Carriage and Wagon Company — later called the Electric Vehicle Company. The taxis were able to run all day by swapping out batteries (sound familiar?) and charging up every few hours. In its prime, the Electric Vehicle Company operated the largest electric-vehicle assembly plant in the world and had more than 2,000 electric vehicles in its fleet — but an undersupply of batteries and problems updating the electric technology caused”>fool.comthe company go out of business in 1907.


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