Cadillac Almost Killed Electric Cars
Exactly 100 years ago, Cadillac released the first electric vehicle, sort of. That's right, long before Capitol Chevrolet Cadillac in Salem OR was getting ready to sell 2013 Cadillac ATS models, they were prepping lots for a Cadillac with electric starter.
GM introduced the electric starter in 1912, and it became an instant hit. No longer did people have to stand out in the elements and crank their engine - simply get in, start it up and you're off!
"Hand cranking was the No. 1 injury risk in those early days of the automobile," says Greg Wallace, director of General Motors Heritage Center.1
Around the turn of the century, gas powered cars were the alternative-fuel vehicles. Smaller vehicles were more coveted by the general public. Cadillac's luxurious electric starter was deemed too lavish and "for the wealthy," and never look off as well as EV cars have today. 100 years later, none of us can imagine having to crank our cars in the morning.