Enough Subsidies for Electric Vehicles

Americans are naturally wary of electric vehicles (EVs). Salespeople may pitch battery-powered cars as the future, but most drivers see them as an expensive, chancy alternative to petroleum-fueled automobiles. This has been true for more than a century.

Electric cars once stood on their own. “In the late 1890s, at the dawn of the automobile era, steam, gasoline, and electric cars all competed to become the dominant automotive technology,” wrote David Kirsch in The Electric Vehicle and the Burden of History. “By the early 1900s, the battle was over, and internal combustion was poised to become the prime mover of the twentieth century.”

In 1896, in fact, when a young Henry Ford asked Thomas Edison about electricity for his horseless carriage, Edison banged the table with a “no,” citing reduced driving range from a heavy battery and inconvenient recharging.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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