Electric cars were introduced in 1896 and by the end of the century almost 50% of motorcars worldwide were electric. The rest of the cars were either gasoline (petrol) or steam driven. The official first land speed record of 66 mph (106 km/h) was set by an electric car in 1898.
An electric car could travel up to 100 miles (160 km) per day. A horse and wagon had to stop every 10 miles (16km), as did steam-driven cars. Gasoline-driven cars often had to stop every 18 miles (30km) for engine cooling – or for repairs.
Yet, by 1905, 80% of cars were gasoline driven and by 1920 the electric car was, well, almost history. The main reason: cheap fuel. Gasoline cost a fraction of the price of electricity. Even at today’s rates, in most countries gasoline costs about half of what electricity will cost to run a car.