The more things change…
…the more they stay the same.
(It sounds a bit better in the original French: “Plus ça change, plus c’est pareil.”)
The Detroit Electric was produced by the Anderson Electric Car Company in – no surprise – Detroit, Michigan, between 1907 and 1939. It wasn’t as fast as a Tesla, with a top speed of 20 MPH (which was just fine at the time), but it did advertise about 80 miles per charge, with some people apparently driving over 200 miles on a single charge. Not bad for century-old tech!
Above is a 1916 Detroit Electric at the Brussels Autoworld Museum.
There were some quite famous Detroit Electrics owners: Thomas Edison, Charles Proteus Steinmetz, Mamie Eisenhower, and John D. Rockefeller, Jr.
Above is a 1917 Detroit Electric model used for a wedding in Australia.
Unfortunately, the market crash of 1929 struck a near fatal blow to the company, which filed for bankruptcy and, after being acquired, only made very small numbers of electric cars until 1939. In total, it made about 13,000 electric cars between 1907 and 1939.
Public domain/1920 ad/Public Domain
The Detroit Electric brand was recently revived, but it’s not exactly at the forefront of electric transportation anymore…