Thomas Edison built an electric car in 1889. His car used nickel-alkaline batteries. Other manufacturers of the time used lead-acid batteries (the type under the hoods of modern cars). Both types of batteries simply fed the battery's electricity directly to an electric motor which powered one or more of the wheels of the car. The next sections discuss the design and disadvantages of the early electric cars as well as the breakthrough in gasoline-powered cars that dealt such a blow to the sales of electric cars.
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