A brief look at electric vehicles from the dawn of the automobile age

If it seems that electric cars are the future of the automobile, the same was true more than a century ago. With automakers planning to meet government laws ending new internal combustion engine production by 2035, this year’s Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance—which takes place May 20-23 in Florida—is a reminder that electric cars are far from a new idea.

“The electric carriage has made a good record for speed, and the great ease of control and the absence of noise and odor will commend it to those who are anxious to purchase horseless carriages,” wrote Scientific American in 1895. For a while, it was true.

These are the cutting-edge cars that held so much promise, a promise only now reaching fruition.