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Event: “Building an Electric Future” at the Petersen

Museum Exhibit Review: 107 Years of Electric Cars

With the recent technological advancements and increased adoption of electric cars, SUVs and trucks, it is lost on most people that electricity was an early popular propulsion system for cars. This development began in the early 1800s throughout Europe, leading to the first commercially available American vehicle hitting the road in 1890. The next two decades were the heyday of electrically powered cars, vans and trucks. Then along came petroleum and the refining of gasoline. It was a good run that only now, some 100 years later, is beginning to see a rebirth.

To provide not only a look back, but a look into the future, the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles currently has an exhibit called “Building An Electric Future: The Technology Of Today For The Vehicles Of Tomorrow.” Clean Fleet Report had the opportunity to tour the exhibit, where there were electric cars spanning 107 years. Here are a few of what is on display, in chronological order. With the exhibit not closing until January 2023, there is plenty of time to add the Petersen Automotive Museum to your list of what to do and see in Los Angeles. [note: expandable versions of the descriptions are at the bottom of the post and links to additional stories with some models]

Detroit Edison Electric
Detroit Electric
Detroit Edison Electric
Detroit  Electric

 

 

 

 

1915 Detroit Electric Model 61 Brougham

20 mph (top speed)

10 horsepower (hp)

80 mile range

Electric Shopper
Electric Shopper
Electric Shopper
Electric Shopper

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1960 Electric Shopper

18 mph

1 hp

35 mile range

Henry Kilowatt
Henney Kilowatt
Henney Kilowatt
Henney Kilowatt

 

 

 

 

 

1963 Henney Kilowatt

40 mph

7.2 hp

40 mile range

 

 

U.S. Electricar
U.S. Electricar
U.S. Electricar
U.S. Electricar

 

 

 

 

 

 

1994 U.S. Electricar GTP

80 mph

Unknown hp

70 mile range

Corbin Sparrow
Corbin Sparrow
Corbin Sparrow
Corbin Sparrow

 

 

 

 

 

 

1996 Corbin Sparrow

75 mph

25 hp

50 mile range

GM EV1
GM EV1
GM EV1
GM EV1

 

 

 

 

 

 

1996 General Motors EV1

80 mph

137 hp

100 mile range

Nissan Hypermini
Nissan Hypermini
Nissan Hypermini
Nissan Hypermini

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2001 Nissan Hypermini

62 mph

32 hp

72 mile range

2008 Tesla Roadster
2008 Tesla Roadster
2008 Tesla Roadster
2008 Tesla Roadster

 

 

 

 

 

 

2008 Tesla Roadster

125 mph

248 hp

211 mile range

2008 Tesla Model S prototype
2009 Tesla Model S prototype
2008 Tesla Model S prototype
2009 Tesla Model S prototype

 

 

 

 

 

 

2009 Tesla Model S Prototype

130 mph

248 hp

160 – 300 mile range

2016 Faraday Future FF91 prototype
2016 Faraday Future FFZero concept
2016 Faraday Future FFZero prototype
2016 Faraday Future FFZero concept

 

 

 

 

2016 Faraday Future FFZero Concept

200 mph

1,000 hp

Unknown range

Fisker EMotion
Fisker EMotion
Fisker EMotion
Fisker EMotion

 

 

 

 

 

 

2018 Fisker Emotion Concept

161 mph

775 hp

400 mile range

VW ID4 record setter
2021 VW ID4 record setter
2021 VW ID4 record setter
2021 VW ID4 record setter

 

 

 

 

 

2021 Volkswagen ID4 EV Record Setter

99 mph

201 hp

250 driving range

Alpha Wolf electric truck concept
Alpha Wolf electric truck concept
Alpha Wolf electric truck concept
Alpha Wolf electric truck concept

 

 

 

 

 

 

2021 Alpha Wolf Electric Truck Concept

125 mph

215 hp

275 mile range

For more information or to visit.

The Petersen Automotive Museum

6060 Wilshire Boulevard (at Fairfax)

Los Angeles, CA 90036

323-930-2277

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Story and photos by John Faulkner