acsDid you know electric cars were made in Denver in 1904? Oliver Fritchle made them. He was born and raised in Ohio…moved to Denver then made his cars. At the time the majority of cars in the USA were electric…followed by steam engine cars. Gasoline engine cars were a distant third.

Oliver was a chemist and battery maker. He created the Fritchle Automobile & Battery Company in Denver and developed many incredible things besides the batteries that drove the cars 110 miles between charges. 

The bottom line is Fritchle’s electric vehicles were every bit as good as the new modern vehicles (without GPS, sound systems and AC of course) in terms of distance they went on a single charge. The reason is the new modern electric vehicles all use his inventions. The truth is they use the innovations Fritchle created and used in his electric and hybrid cars more than a century ago with some upgrades of course. Cars today are much larger and have lots of electric gadgets.

The problem for Fritchle was a guy named Ford. Fritchle’s cars cost $2000. Ford started creating gasoline engine cars on a grand scale and sold them for $700. Plus they could go farther than electric cars…but not farther than Fritchle’s hybrid cars. Ford was mass producing cars and so the price was lower. And price always wins.

The new electric and hybrid cars are impressive but really not that much more compared to Fritchle’s cars. A  brand new 100% electric Toyota SUV cost  $53,000 and goes 112 miles between charges…that’s it. It’s great to drive around locally, but you can’t take a trip out of town. And Frichle’s cars went between 100 and 110 miles between charges. The more things change, the more they stay the same.



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