Early Electric Car Companies P&R

Version 3.1


Electric car companies of the world, made before 1940, and listed alphabetically by brand name (when available).

Hobby cars after 1908 are generally omitted. Most makers of commercial electric vehicles are included, but not covered in detail.

The years given each company represent the span of electric car production, not necessarily the total life of the company. Many were previous horse-carriage, or bicycle companies, and several continued to make internal combustion cars post electric.

The majority of these listings were prototypes, and never produced in volume.


P & G                1900-1903     

Pritchetts & Gold Ltd, Feltham, Middlesex, England.

Founded in 1901 to make traction vehicle batteries. They made several prototype electrics to demonstrate their product. The motors for 1902 were made by Henry Royce (F. H. Royce & Co), who later teamed with Charles Rolls. Rolls ran an electric car charging station in Fulham. In 1920 they merged to become Pritchett & Gold and E. P. S. Co.

P & G later made gasoline cars with the Meteor brand.

Packard            1896-1898,

Liberty & Derby Streets, Salem, Massachusetts

Lucius B. Packard (wheelwright),

1896        tricycle, wood wheeled, the body was suspended over the frame.

1898        Runabout, piano box, twin chain drive, with carriage wheels.


Parsons            1905-6

Parsons Electric Motor Carriage Co, Cleveland, OH

Stanhope, 2-passengers, 900 lbs, 66” wb, four speeds, Elwell-Parker 8-hp motor & controller, double chain drive, $1,600.

Light delivery, built on the same chassis, $1,500.


Patin                1898-1900     

Cie Électrique O. Patin, Puteaux, France      

         Octave Patin

1900        Dog Cart 3-passengers abreast, with a small steering wheel and controller wheel stacked atop a vertical tube. Mechanical 2-speed gearing through friction drives


Patton             1889       

W. H. Patton, Chicago, IL

Patton was president of the Canastota & Morrisville Railway

The Fischer Equipment Co. built several trucks for William H. Patton using his series hybrid design. The American Motor Company made the three-cylinder engine; it was connected to an 8 kW Crocker-Wheeler dynamo. A pair of 7½ hp four pole motors was at the rear wheels. 55 Willard cells with a 120 A h capacity. Rack & pinion steering by wheel.

Pawtucket               1897       

Pawtucket Electric Co, Pawtucket, RI

D. L. Goff, president

Design licensed from Harry E. Dey


Peck         1913                

Peck Electric Ltd, Toronto, Ontario, Canada         

F. G. Peck


Perret      1896-1901   

Perret Storage Battery Co, 17 State Street, New York, NY        

In 1896, Frank Alvord Perret (1867-1943) teamed with fellow Edison alumni John A. Barrett and formed the Elektron Manufacturing Co in New York, NY. Perret, who introduced the six-pole motor, made a series of electric car prototypes to demonstrate his battery and motor.

After an emotional breakdown in early 1902 Perret became a noted volcanologist.

1896        a prototype (while still with Barrett), with the first Brewster body on an automobile.

1897        a heavy five-passenger car

1898        light runabout, this car weighed 440 lbs with a 175 lb battery in a single case. 13 mph for forty miles

1900        a car with an articulated chassis, designed for rough terrain


Perry Lewis Electric Wagon  1895 

J. D. Perry Lewis, 3014 Morgan Street, St. Louis, MO

         Two seats, Chloride Accumulators (ESB), thirty cells. Proprietary motor with large armature and four field windings. Could run for four hours at 12 mph.


Petter              1895-1898     

JB Petter & Sons, Yeovil, Somerset, England

Percival W. Petter had a few cars made by coach builder Hill & Boll, including electrics.


Peugeot          1940-1945

Some early Peugeots were electric quadricycles.

Between 1940 and 1945 they made a small electric delivery vehicle during the WWII gas shortages.


VLV (Voiture Légére de Ville) electrique de la Postes. A small two-passenger electric postal delivery vehicle, with twin-drive wheels well inside the bodywork at the rear (alla Isetta). A cloth top was lifted for entry. Cyclops headlight, 30 kmh, 70-80 km range, 48 Volts, SAFI motor.

Pfluger            1900       

Vereinigte Accummulatores-und Electricitatswerke   Dr. Pfluger & Co, Berlin, Germany


Phipps             1912-1913

Phipps Electric Co, Detroit, MI

Joel G. Phipps had an electric car design, and got the Grinnell Brothers to back him. They did not get along, and Phipps found a new partner, C. W. Whitson. Their car, introduced in late 1912, did not survive the 1913 recession.

1913        Coupé, 5-passengers, 40-cell Exide battery, 107” wb, 36 x 4 “ tires, Westinghouse motor, bevel drive, five speeds

Pieper             1890-1910     

Campagnie Internationale d’electrite

Liege, Belgium

A gun manufacturer since 1867.


The founder’s son, Henri Pieper, made a gas/electric parallel hybrid. Known as the Auto-Mixte, which became the European term for a hybrid.

His patent was licensed to Siemens-Schuckert, the British Daimler Co, and Société General d’Automobile Electro-Mecanique (GEM).


Pope 1895-1907

Pope Manufacturing Co, Boston, Massachusetts. Also; Columbia Automobile Co, The Electric Vehicle Co, Pope-Waverley.     

Established in 1885, The Pope Manufacturing Co became the world’s most successful bicycle maker. Albert Augustus Pope, with sons Albert L., & Harry M., brother Arthur W., and his cousins George & Edward W., were all involved with his enterprises.

In July of 1895, Pope vice president Harold H. Eames hired Hiram Percy Maxim to design motorcars. Maxim first built a three-cylinder gas buggy using the motor he had been experimenting with. Eames was certain that electric vehicles were the way to go. Maxim became an umpire at the 1895 Chicago race on Thanksgiving Day, riding on the Electrobat II, which won a gold medal as “best motocycle.” This experience helped convince him that the electric motor was a more practical technology for the immediate future. Maxim designed and built a Columbia proto-type Mk I electric, with the motor on the rear axle, and the Mk II, another two-stroke gas car failure, in 1896. Late in the year they had made examples of the first two production vehicles, The Mk III electric Phaëton and the Mk VII gasoline tricycle, designed for package delivery.

Ten production Columbia Electric Mk III electric cars were ready for sale by May 1897. They weighed 1,900 lbs, of which 800 lbs was the battery. The Mk III could go 30 miles at 12-mph, powered by a two-horse Eddy motor that weighed 120 lbs. Maxim designed the worm/worm-wheel, steering gear, (first used on this car) which eliminated steering backlash.

This was the second commercially available electric automobile made in America, and the first successful manufacturer. Several more electric models were added, including a Surrey, Victoria, and a light delivery. Maxim also made a nice Mk IX gasoline runabout in 1898, which he took on several adventurous cross-country outings.


1899 was a pivotal year for Pope, The bicycle craze had clearly peaked, and it was hard to make a profit, as there was abundant competition.

On the other hand, his pioneering motorcar branch had good margins and was growing.

Sporting goods tycoon Albert Goodwill Spaulding, who had a bicycle division, was setting up a bicycle trust, with the intention of reducing factory capacity, thereby returning the industry to profitability. Many of the major bicycle companies joined it, including Pope, putting all of their resources into a huge holding company. On May 12, 1899, The Pope bicycle, steel tube, and tire Interests joined Spalding’s trust. The American Bicycle Company was formed by the merger of 44 companies, with 55 separate facilities, owning 900 patents.

The directors were; A. G. Spaulding, R. Lindsey Colman (Western Wheel Works, Chicago), A. A. Pope, R. P. Gormully (Rambler), Harry A. Lozier (cashed out for $900,000), George Pope, Theodore F. Merseles, A. L. Garford (who later made platforms for the first gasoline Studebakers), and C. W. Dickerson (Sterling Cycle).


They kept the best brands and the most productive factories, selling off or trading as many less productive assets as possible. A minority ownership of a profitable company was better than sole ownership of one that was losing money. Shares were divided according to the value of the existing properties,


William C. Whitney, of the Electric Storage Battery Company was also talking with Pope. Whitney and his cronies were intent on cornering the nascent motor taxi business. Whitney’s recently acquired Electric Vehicle Company’s cab enterprise was backed by their virtual monopoly of the lead-acid battery business. The EVC had no vehicle factory, and thought Pope’s car manufacturing division could make all of the cabs required, Pope separated the car company from his other enterprises, and merged it with EVC for cash and stock.

Some 500 electric and 40 gasoline cars were made under the Columbia brand for Pope Manufacturing before the EVC takeover.

Pope went from being the head of an eponymous manufacturing empire to being an equity partner in two enormous holding companies. He was swimming with sharks even bigger than he was, and was not the junior partner type.

In June of 1900 he sold the other half of his interest in the lead-cab “conspiracy” to EVC, which recapitalized to buy him out. He took the cash, and bought out some of the other owners of the American Bicycle Company, when the price was right. Others took factories and other assets in trade for their ABC equity, with the stipulation that they would not return to the bicycle business. Several started making automobiles.

Pope remained on the EVC board through 1903, when he took full control of the American Bicycle Company, but was no longer active in management.


The Waverley Electric Car was part of Pope’s new empire. Indiana Bicycle had been making Waverley electrics since 1897, and designed their successful new Road Wagon, before Pope was directly involved with the company.

Pope was now the principal owner of the Waverley Electric, which he did not change––other than adding his name to the brand and drum brakes to the rear wheels. He kept the strongest bicycle brands, while starting one steam and several gasoline car companies.

When Pope took full control of Indiana Bicycle (Waverley), in 1903, he removed R. Lindsey Colman (an old bicycle nemesis) from the presidency and installed some of the best managers from his former companies.

All of his holdings were put under the umbrella of the new Pope Manufacturing Company, making several brands of bicycles: such as Cleveland, Columbia, Ideal, Imperial, Monarch, and Rambler, in two remaining factories.

Most of Pope’s energies went into building up his new motor vehicle enterprises; including automobiles, delivery trucks, and motorcycles. His brands included: Pope-Toledo (steam & gasoline), Pope-Hartford (gasoline), Pope-Robinson (gasoline), Pope-Tribune (gasoline), and the Pope-Waverley electrics.

Although Pope kept the Columbia brand for bicycles and motorcycles, EVC had the Columbia brand for electric and gasoline automobiles.

Albert A. Pope’s final empire went into receivership on August 17, 1907. In July of 1909, the receivers announced a distribution of 41.277% on the $2,391,000 of preferred stock, after payment of all debts.

Following bankruptcy, the profitable parts of Pope’s companies were continued at more reasonable capitalization.

A. A. Pope died in August of 1909.

Waverley continued making electrics under new owners (with similar management) until 1916. The company continued through the war, doing contract manufacturing of parts and assemblies for other companies.

Columbia remained a car brand, under various owners, through 1912.


See: Columbia, Electric Carriage and Wagon Company, Electric Vehicle Company, and Waverley



Porsche   The first Porsche was an electric, see Lohner.


Pouchian         1893       

Armentieres, France

Paul Pouchain made a six passenger electric Phaëton. It had a 3.4 hp motor, mounted in the body, running on 104 Volts. The 1,100 lb Dujardin accumulator cells were in four groups, held in ebonite boxes, switched for speed control. It had a Rechniewski type motor rated at 2k Watts, with 100% overload margin, weighed 3,000 lbs, and could carry six people 40 miles at 9 mph.

Pratt                1888

P. W. Pratt, Boston, MA

         According to the August 2, 1888 “Modern Light and Heat” the versatile inventor (fire sprinklers, rubber products, etc.) Philip W. Pratt had a “well known” Boston electrical firm build an electric tricycle to his design. The six-cell, 90 Lb, battery was made by the Electrical Accumulator Co.


Pritchett & Gold     1903-1904 

Pritchetts & Gold Ltd     Feltham, Middlesex, England.

See P & G


Quinby Electric Carriage                 1899     England

1899        Dos-à-dos Carriage, Leitner system with two, 2½-hp motors.



Rae Cab           1898       

The Rae Motocycle Co, Chicago, IL

         Electrical engineer Walter Rae. The platform was built by the Sterling Cycle Co, It had a Porter battery, with the driver out in front of the cabin


Rae                   1909-      

Rae Electrical Equipment Co, Boston, MA

H. K. Parkman, president; Frank B. Rae (from telegraph, then, rail & lighting companies), VP; H. C. Welch (Boston), treasurer; H. A. Bingham, secretary.

F. B. Rae had a similar company in Detroit.

1909        A prototype long-range electric invented by Rae with two motors on the rear axle.

Raffard            1881,

Tricycle, 24 Volts, Fauré cells.


Rambler 1912-1913

Thomas B. Jeffery Co, Kenosha, WI

The 1913 Rambler “Hybrid” (announced in August of 1912) was more about having an electric starter than the efficiency and performance of a true hybrid. In this Rambler, a motor/generator replaced the flywheel. After introduction of the Kettering electric starting system in the Cadillac that same year, this expensive design was dropped. It was built on the concept that the electric motor should be able to crank the engine within its “constant duty” rating. The Kettering system used a much smaller unit engineered to put out a lot of torque for a brief time, essentially a more robust version of the motors he designed for National Cash Register.

1913        Cross Country, parallel hybrid with “unit gasoline and electric motor”. 4-cylinder 38 hp engine & 8 hp 24 Volt motor, 120” wheelbase, 4 or 5-passengers $1,700, Roadster, $1,650, Special Touring (5 adults, 2 children) $1,900, Sedan 4-passengers, $2,500, Gotham five-passenger limousine with two extra cab seats $2,750.

Rauch & Lang   1905-1930

1904-1915 Rauch & Lang Carriage Co

2268- 2341 (2168-2180) West 25th Street,                  Cleveland, OH

1915-1920 Baker R & L Co

1920-1924 Rauch & Lang Inc.

         Chicopee Falls, MA.

1924-1930 Raymond & Ralph Owen

         Chicopee Falls MA.                 

Sales rooms, 629 Superior Ave. (1908)


Rauch & Lang is German for Smoke & Long


Founder Jacob Rauch set up a blacksmith shop called the West Side Smithy on Columbus Road in 1853, expanding into wagon repair. He was killed in 1863 at Gettysburg during the Civil War.

His son, Charles Rauch, joined the business in 1860, when the shop moved to Pearl Street, later called West 25th, which had considerably more carriage traffic. Rauch teamed with bookkeeper Charles E. J. Lang, who bought a quarter interest in the company in January of 1878. Lang’s father owned a popular saloon, his wife’s family developed real estate. In 1888 the company incorporated with capitol stock of $100,000, and shifted the business into a significant maker of wagons and carriages, eventually specializing in luxury coaches for the Ohio carriage trade, with sales reaching from coast to coast.


In 1903 Rauch & Lang began selling Buffalo Electric cars at their Cleveland carriage showrooms. They sold well; and in 1904 R & L decided to make their own electric carriages. The motors and controllers were from the nearby Hertner Electric Co. A prototype electric car was built, and production started in 1905 with a Stanhope, by the end of the year they had sold about 50 cars; including Coupés and depot wagons. All early models used the most conventional drive system of the time; a single motor driving jackshafts, with twin chains to rear wheel hub sprockets.


In 1906 it became clear that Hertner was gearing up to make their own cars, as they were sending out press releases, and published an elaborate brochure with drawings of their new electric car. This prompted the owners to come up with enough capitol to make Hertner a part of Rauch & Lang. They recapitalized in 1907 at $175,000. Enough to merge with Hertner, and built new metalworking factories across the alley, fronting on McLean Street, so they could make the chassis and driveline components in-house. The principal new investor was Lakewood, Ohio real estate tycoon Charles L. F. Wieber; a development partner with Charles Lang’s in-laws.

After the buyout: John H. Hertner and his chief engineer, De Witt C. Cookingham, ran the motor vehicle division; while the old partners concentrated on the body building and remaining carriage part.

In 1909 they recapitalized again at $1 million for expansion, including new factory buildings. They followed Baker’s lead in 1910; introducing straight-cut bevel-gear shaft-drive in some models. Charles Wieber sold his interest in the thriving men’s tailoring business, that he built up from his father’s original shop, to focus on Rauch & Lang.

1911        Baker filed suit against R & L over Gruenfeld’s shaft-drive suspension patent.

1912 Charles Rauch died, and Wieber became president. Charles E. J. Lang was vice-president & treasurer; attorney Francis W. Treadway, who had just completed a term as Ohio’s Lt. governor, was secretary.

1913        R & L built a large new factory. Four stories high, 112 by 199 feet, of brick and steel construction.

June 7, 1915 R & L, with a capital value of $1 million, merged with cross-town rival Baker, with a capital value of $1.25 million. The name was changed to the Baker R & L Company. The officers were: Charles Wieber, president; Frederick White (from Baker), 1st VP; Charles E. J. Lang, 2nd VP; R. C. Norton, treasurer; G. H. Kelly secretary. F. W. Treadway became counsel; Rollin C. White (from Baker) was also a director.

Later in the year, GE invested $2 million, getting seats on the board for Anson W. Burchard (VP of GE), D. C. Durland, and Richard H. Swartout.

The GE money was partly used to bring Owen Magnetic cars into the mix, with Raymond Owen becoming VP of sales.


In the spring of 1920, the company reorganized: changing its name to the Baker Raulang Co. The body division used the Raulang brand, and the commercial vehicle division used the Baker brand.

The electric pleasure car business was sold to a coalition of former dealers, and was capitalized at $2,200,000, in Chicopee Falls, Massachusetts, as Rauch & Lang Inc. This was a rather high valuation for the least profitable sliver of a company whose entire capitalization was of a similar amount.

Ray S. Deering, had recently purchased Stevens-Duryea, and many historical accounts have him buying R & L. Deering had five years experience selling used electrics in Chicago, and, with his partner Paul Frank, was the Chicago sales agent for R & L. Deering was a likely cheerleader of the R & L purchase, and instrumental in the choice of the new location, which was very close to his Stevens-Duryea factory. No available contemporaneous document, including stock certificates and business filings, mentions him as an officer or director of Rauch & Lang Inc.

The principals included: Paul A. Frank, president; H. H. Doering, VP sales and advertisings; N. Platt, VP exports; M. R. Leathers, secretary and treasurer; P. D. Le Veness, purchasing agent; R. W. Stanley, production manager; E. I. Rusk, chief engineer.

The company went into receivership on September 24, 1923, and the assets were sold to Raymond M. Owen for $446,857.28, on August 25, 1925.


Rauch & Lang owners included: Mrs. Woodrow Wilson, Mrs. Potter Palmer (Palmer House, Chicago), Hiram Bingham III (“discovered” Machu Picchu), David Gamble (soap), Henry H. Timken (bearings and axles), and Mamie Eisenhower’s mother, Elvira “Minnie” Doud.




The first production car was a Stanhope; by the end of the year they had added Coupés, and a depot wagon. Prior to 1908 they only made the wooden bodies, and bought the platform components from outside vendors. Rauch & Lang specialized in enclosed luxury coaches for the carriage trade.       


75 to 85 miles on a charge, 5 speeds, up to 19 mph




Depot Wagon


Stanhope, wood body, pressed steel frame, 75” wheelbase, double chain drive, Mons silent chain reduction, 22 mph (faster on special order,) expansion brakes on hubs and motor, 1,700 lbs, $1,850


For 1908 R & L added a patented locking device and an electric motor brake. The cars had 24 Exide cells powering a 4-10 hp Hertner motor. The hand brake caused two bronze shoes to grip a drum on the armature shaft.

Eleven models were advertised. The model numbers referred to the chassis type.

         10    Stanhope, 2-passengers, 24 cell battery, 10-12 mph, 74” wb, $1,850

         10    Coupé, inside drive, 2-passengers, $2,100

         11    Extension Coupé, inside drive, 4-passengers, $2,600

         12    Stanhope, 2-passengers plus folding front seat, $2,050. Blue, green, or maroon, matching broadcloth upholstery, 2,250 lbs, 24 cell battery, 74 inch wheel base. Furnished with leather buggy top and leather fenders. Victoria top add $50-. Interchangeable with the other type 12 chassis bodies.

         12    Coupé, body only, $650 

         12    Extension Coupé, Body only, $800.

         14    Extension Coupé, 4-passengers, 82” wb, $2,400

         14    Surrey, 5-passengers, $3,000

         14    Victoria, 5-passengers, $3,200

         16    Brougham, 6-passengers, wheel steering, outside driver under overhang with a windshield, $3,800

         16    Landaulette, $4,000

         18    Brougham, six-passengers, driver outside with wheel, $4,000.

         18    Landaulette, 6-passengers, $4,200.


         10    Coupé $2,200

         12    Stanhope, 4-passengers, folding front seat,                $2,100

         12    Extension Coupé, $2,500

         13    Victoria with front seat, 4-passengers, $2,200

         14    Extension Coupé, 4-passengers, $2,700

         16    Surrey with extension top, $3,000

         16    Brougham, driver out in front of cabin with a windshield, 3,800

         16    Landaulette, driver outside, $4,000

         18    Brougham, outside drive, 6-passengers,                      $4,000

         18    Landaulette, 6-passengers, driver outside,                    $4,200

         124  Stanhope, $2,250

         124  Stanhope, with folding front seat, $2,300

         124  Coupé, $2,550

         124  Extension Coupé, $2,600

         144  Victoria with front seat, 4-passengers, $2,350

         144  Extension Coupé, 4-passengers, $2,700


Bevel shaft-drive introduced in some models, with longer wheelbases. The motor was relocated to reduce noise. The spark-free continuous torque controller kept the battery in series. When the control lever was pulled back past neutral, it first engaged a dynamic electric brake, standard on all models, and then, a mechanical motor brake. The drive unit was mounted on a Manganese bronze sub frame attached to the chassis by a three-point suspension.

Ads stated that each car took three months to build and trim.

         Victoria, with front seat, 85” wb, 40 cells, 1,950 lbs, $2450

         Roadster, Faux radiator, 60 Volts, 25 mph, 65-mile range, 82” wb, wheel steering, 2,000 lbs.


         Extension Coupé, new model with rounded front quarter glass, 4-passengers, 24 cells, 81” wb, Palmer web or Motz cushion tires, 2,550 lbs, $2,700.


Shaft drive was by a straight-cut bevel ring and pinion gear set in a rear axle unit made in-house. The sidelights had special reflectors to eliminate a need for headlights. The battery was in series at all speeds with a continuous torque controller. A backwards pull on the handle actuated both a mechanical motor brake and the non-regenerative electric brake, while disconnecting the battery from the motor. The foot pedal emergency brake actuated internal shoes in drums at both rear wheels. The six coats of finishing varnish were applied over a period of fifteen days.

The range was 50-150 miles depending on speed and road conditions. An ESB Exide battery was standard; The ESB Ironclad or Edison batteries were available at additional cost.

         Stanhope, 2-passengers, chain ($1,900) or shaft ($2,000) drive, Pneumatic or solid tires on 32 x 3½ inch wheels, 48 Volts, 81” wb,

         Victoria, 4-passengers, 86” wb,

Chassis    #34 Enclosed Chain Drive

                 #35 Shaft Drive

         With 24 Cell 13 MV battery $2,350

Chassis    #344 Enclosed chain drive

                 #345 Shaft drive

With, 32 x 4 inch Pneumatic or 34 x 4 inch Motz tires, 40 Cell 9 M. V. Battery $2,450

Chassis    #36 Open chain drive

                 #37 Shaft drive

         With 24 cell 11 M. V. battery, $2,200

         32 x 3½ Pneumatic or 34 x 3½ inch Motz cushion tires,  $2,450


2-passengers, chain or shaft, 48 Volts, 81” wb, $2,300

                 Extension Coupé 4-passengers, chain drive, 81” wb, 48 Volts, $2,600

                 Extension Coupé 4-passengers, shaft drive, 80 Volts, 88” wb $2,800


The four new models had a dropped front axles and the frame had dropped rails. Some smaller models had a 24-cell battery.

Both the Coupés and the new inside-drive Broughams were available with lever steering from the rear bench seat, or wheel steering from the left front seat. There were two series of cars with similar models. One had the old double chain drive chassis; the others were the new shaft drive series, which used straight cut bevel ring and pinion gears.

         BB    Brougham, inside drive,

         CC    Coach, interior fore-drive with a wheel. Made for Mrs. Potter “Bertha” Palmer of the Palmer House Hotel, Chicago. Thought to be the first R & L with a steering wheel.

         J-2   Coach


All cars had 4-horse power Hertner motors; the cars were slightly longer and larger. The R & L control was by means of a vertical lever at the left side of the drivers seat. Moving the lever forward gave gradual speed increase rather than jerking into discreet switch positions. Pulling the lever back actuated an electromagnetic brake. An emergency power cut-off was accomplished by pushing down a ring shaped lever at the base of the controller lever, an alarm bell sounded if current was drawn while the parking brake was on, to prevent the first speed coil from overheating and burning out. The cars had shaft drive.

Available with a standard 40-cell Exide battery. An Exide Iron-Clad or a 60-cell Edison battery was at additional cost. The wheelbase for most models was lengthened by 1½“ to 92½“. The cars were lowered, and the enclosed cars had larger interiors, they featured a rain-vision windshield. The cars had larger brake drums, and a variety of wheel size and type was offered. The cars were designed with a top speed of 20 MPH, Seven models were offered, and the Brougham was available in a Landaulet version.

         CR-3        Club Roadster, (the Roadster with a Coupé top) 2-passengers, $2,800

         R-3 Roadster, 2-passengers, $2,600

         DB-3        Demi-Brougham, carriage lights high on pillar, $2,800

         BB-3        Colonial Brougham, 4-passengers, slight change of bodyline, $2,900

         B-3 Brougham, 5-passengers, $3,000

         J-3            "Chicago" Coach, 5-Passengers, wheel or lever steering, carnation cloth upholstery, $3,100

         TC-3 Town Car, a driver at the wheel, with room for an assistant, out front in the weather, with 4-passengers, in a cozy cabin at the rear, 103” wb. New model, $2,900


When the 1914 models were announced in July of 1913 the major change was Worm-gear shaft drive on all models, which was quieter, more dependable, and eliminated the need for a silent chain speed reduction. This drive system was used in all subsequent vehicles. Expanding brakes on open rear drums and electric braking by shorting the motor. The Broughams had interior lights that lit when the doors were open, and a cigarette lighter. The doors had lift up windows, with a strap.

         R-4           Roadster, 3-passengers with folding seat, 92” wheelbase, side lever steering, 84 Volts, $2,600

         CR-4        Club Roadster, the Roadster with a Coupé body $2,800

         SWR-4     Roadster, faux radiator, not in sales catalog

         DB-4        Demi-Brougham, 86” wheelbase, carriage lights high on pillars $2,850

         B-4           Brougham, 5-passengers with a stationary and a revolving front seat, side lever steering, 82 Volts, $2,950

         J-4            Coach, 5-passengers with two revolving seats in front, 100” wheelbase. Rear or front control $3,100, dual drive designed by Roland S. Fend, $3,200

         TC-4 Town Car, 106” wheelbase, Wheel steering in front of cabin, $3,800


Rauch & Lang merged with Baker on June 7th.

J-5            Coach, 5-passengers, 102” wb, 6 speeds, electric motor-brake, dual drive, tiller only, $3,200. 

R-5 Roadster, 2-passengers, 95” wb, worm drive, 41 cell 11 M. V. Hycap Exide battery, aux folding seat, side curtains and cape top, $2,600

CR-5        Club Roadster, 3-passengers, $2,800    

B-5, Brougham

BX-5        Brougham, 4-passengers, $2,950           TC-5      Town Car, front drive with wheel, $4,000

TXC-5      Limousine, front drive with wheel, $4,000


The cars had a Sangamo Ampere-hour meter as standard equipment with separate Volt/Ampere/speed meters clustered around it. Still worm drive.

The DA-6 Coupé ($2,475) and BBD-6 Duplex drive Brougham ($3,000) were sold as Baker models. They also had worm drive, appointments as with the R & L cars, advertised as lighter.

R-6 Roadster, wire or wood wheels, side lever steering, 92” wb, 41 cell 11 M. V. Hycap Exide Battery, 8 day Waltham watch, Klaxon horn, buggy top with side curtains, $2,600. More with Edison battery

CR-6        Club Roadster, same platform as roadster, frameless windows with mechanical lifts, folding seat, two headlights, two carriage lights, a dome light, and a taillight. Wire wheels with pneumatic tires or Artillery wheels with pneumatic or Motz, $2,800

B-6 Brougham, rear drive, 92” wb,  $2,800

BX-6        Brougham 4-passengers with wider seat than B6, dome light came on when door opened, rear drive, 92” wheelbase, $2,800

BBD-6      Brougham, $3,000

J-6            Coach 5-Passengers, six speeds, 144” long on a 102” wheelbase. Rear or front drive $2,900, or dual control $3,000

TC-6 Town Car, 100” wb, 42 cell lead battery, driver in front of cab with windshield and roof but no side windows, wheel steering, $4,000-

TXC-6      Town Car, 109” wb, driver out front with a windshield and no roof, $4,000


R & L’s “electric brake” short-circuited the armature across resistance, correctly called dynamic braking.

BX-7        Brougham, rear drive, 92” wheelbase, $2,800

C-35         Coach, duplex drive, 102” wheelbase, 42-cell battery, $3,000

J-7   Coach, rear drive or fore drive with wheel, $2,900. Duplex, $3,000


B-26         Brougham, rear drive

C-35         Coach, Duplex Drive


B-36 Brougham, Rear drive

C-45 Duplex drive

C-55 Coach     


January 6th; the electric car business of Baker Rauch & Lang was sold to a group of former dealers in Chicopee Falls, MA. It was incorporated as Rauch & Lang Inc. Harry H. Doering, who begin his career with Ohio Electric in 1910, and became the Philadelphia dealer for R & L, became the sales manager for the entire company. As a company executive he was aware that the owners wished to sell the pleasure car business. He put together a group headed by Ray Deering’s Chicago partner Paul Frank. The similarity between the names Doering and Deering probably contributed to the confusion over ownership by the press and subsequent histories.


         The 1921 cars were probably remaining stock from Cleveland

Both models had a 102” wheelbase, semi-elliptic front springs, 7/8 elliptic rear springs, set up to eliminate side sway, pressed steel channel frame, Hertner motor, top mounted straight worm drive, drive shaft with a sliding joint and two universal joints, vanadium steel torque rod from motor to gear housing attached with a ball joint, 42 cell battery. Six speeds forward, four in reverse. Two sets of brakes, at rear hubs, and at the motor. An adjustable “Seeback” mirror ran the full width of the rain vision windshield.

B-46 Brougham, 4 passengers, Rear seat drive

C-55 Coach, 5 passengers, duplex drive with rotating front seats, artillery or wood wheels,


B-66 Chesterfield Brougham, 5-passengers, rear drive

                 Sedan, four doors, four-passengers, wire wheels


B-68 Brougham

T-68 Cab, town car style, round nose, the rest of the body was squarish, wheel steering.


Both Rauch & Lang Inc, and the Deering enterprises, went bankrupt by the end of the year; assets, including R & L, were sold to the Owen brothers (Raymond & Ralph) for $450,000


The Owen brothers made three Owen Magnetic type hybrid cars with the Rauch & Lang brand; they had GE electrical components.

M 6-80 Entz type hybrid

Red Bug        1922-1928     

Automotive Electric Service Corporation

Automotive Standards Inc. of Newark, NJ

The electric version of the Briggs & Stratton powered gasoline buckboard; originally made by A. O. Smith. In later ones, the motor drove the right rear wheel with an enclosed chain. Powered by a Northeast starter/generator, 12-24 Volts. Approximately 200 Lbs, 12 mph, depending on the battery, with headlights, taillight, and a Klaxon horn, $150-


Regina             1903-1908     

Société l’Électrique, Paris, France         

Gasoline and electric cars

Bernard M. Dufresne and Armand de Gantaut Biron

They made the Gallia Electric, New York office, 152-154 West 38th Street, New York, NY


Landaulet        body by Kellner

Galliette           a runabout with a Rothschild body


Riker    1896-1902

1888-1899 Riker Electric Motor Co,

         45 & 47 York Street, Brooklyn, NY            

1899-1900 Riker Motor Vehicle Co

         Office, 55 Montgomery St. Jersey City, NJ

         Factory, Elizabethport, NJ

1900-1902 Electric Vehicle Co, New York, NY


Sometime between 1884 and 1890: Andrew Lawrence Riker made his first electric vehicle in the basement of his parent’s mansion at 15 East 55th Street, New York, NY. He used a Coventry-Rotary tricycle, which he brought home from a family vacation in England. The Coventry was a two-track style, with a large outrigger wheel on the right side, which he drove with a ~1/6 hp motor of his own making. The motor ran on 8 Volts, and Riker said the tricycle would go at 8 mph, for 32 miles, over a good road. The whole rig weighed 150 lbs. As the small motor drove the large wheel by means of a grooved friction wheel, it must have required ideal conditions to run, and favored left turns. The only documentary evidence of this vehicle is an undated photograph.

Riker’s recollection, as related in a 1907 Scientific American interview, put this date at 1884. Confusion over the date seems to have been generated by Riker himself; as he got older the date became earlier. An accurate date loses importance when considering that Gustave Trouvé made a similar electric vehicle in Paris, using the same model of tricycle, in 1881. This vehicle was displayed at the Paris Electrical Exposition and widely reported, something Riker’s British bicycle dealer must have known; it might have been used as a selling point. Charles Jeantaud in France, W. Ayrton, J. Perry, and Thomas Parker in England, had also managed to motorize vehicles electrically by 1884.


1888; Riker set up a Brooklyn business making electric motors, fans, and other electrical devices based on his patents, including his slotted armature and laminated field-core motor designs.

Around 1891 Riker rigged two Remington safety bicycles together to create a spindly four-wheeled “motor cycle”. The driver was perched high up in the middle; it weighed 315 lbs.

In 1896, he started making vehicles for sale in his Brooklyn factory. Allan H. Whiting was an electrical engineer there at the time; Thomas L. Proctor was general manager.

1899, June, Riker was recapitalized; with A. L. Riker as president; William G. Meyer, VP; James C. Young, secretary and treasurer; with help from Oscar T. Crosby and C. A. Lieb of the Washington Automobile Co.

They opened a vehicle factory in the former Lewis and Fowler railcar plant in Elizabethport, New Jersey; served by the Long Branch Railroad.

1900, a fire destroyed the east wing of the factory fronting Port Avenue, damaging the tool room, forge, foundry and machine shop. The fire did not halt production (according to a company spokesman), and was covered by insurance, but was probably a factor in Riker eventually accepting sale of the company to the EVC lead cab syndicate.       

1900, December, The Electric Vehicle Company purchased Riker’s company for $725,000 in preferred stock and $1,050,000 in common stock, in the perceived need for increased production facilities. Riker considered himself to be the new chief engineer at EVC; the established team, with Maxim and Kennedy, left for Westinghouse.

1901, The Electric Vehicle Company’s lead cab bubble burst, and late in the year the Elizabethport factory was closed.

1902, January 1st, Riker, distracted by explosion engines, and not a team player, left EVC to design some formidable gasoline cars for Locomobile.


Riker built their traction motors in weather-tight aluminum cases.

Motors were made in four sizes.

¾ KW, 80 lbs. 40 Volts, 1,200 rpm

1½ KW, 160 lbs. 80 Volts, 1,000 rpm

2 KW, 175 lbs. 80 Volts, 1,000 rpm

3 KW, 285 lbs. 80 Volts, 800 rpm


Riker Electric vehicles were built with the body suspended above a ridged steel-tube sub-frame by leaf springs. This meant that the entire rolling platform; including chassis, motor(s), wheels, axles, and driveline were un-sprung weight. As the battery and controls were in the body, wires to the motor(s) and control links for brakes and steering had to accommodate the movement differential between body and running gear.

Even with a very light platform and a heavy body this meant a lot of road shock was delivered directly to the drive components, with longer wave bounce up to the body.


In the lighter one-motor Rikers, the patented differential gearing was in one of the drive-wheel hubs, allowing a one-piece unbroken live rear axle. The front wheels turned at their pivot centers, with steering pivots in the front wheel hubs, giving better road-shock stability and minimal steering feedback. These designs were elegant, but not very robust. Few, if any, were adopted in the design of the EVC cabs, or Columbia Electric cars.

 Single motors were rigidly mounted between the rear axle housing and a forward cross member, with the motor off center to the right, somewhat counter-balancing a motorist in the left front seat. A spur gear drove a simple crown gear mounted at the center of the solid rear axle, at about a twenty-to-one reduction, an adjacent drum was wrapped with a band brake, all elements, except the motor, were in a single housing.


Two-motor Riker vehicles were made with motors, held by the axle, driving each rear wheel by means of a steel spur gear engaged with an inside-toothed bronze ring-gear. This was mechanically simple, avoided the need for a differential, and made it easier to keep the motors mounted in rigid alignment with the wheels. A lot of un-sprung weight was created, a liability on all but the smoothest roads. Although most models had shrouds to protect the gears, they were still exposed to abrasive dust that could gum up the works, affecting longevity and reliability. Straight cut gears are noisy.



Tricycle   2-passengers, with two front wheels and one rear drive wheel. An eighty pound 1 hp motor drove the rear wheel. It weighed 800 lbs and had three forward speeds by battery switching. It could go 20 miles at 12 mph.

Victoria   2-passengers, with a 2-hp motor, three speeds by battery switching, 25-mile range at 12 mph. 1,800 lbs, With a 44 cell 66 Ampere hour battery.

Phaëton, 1,880 lbs

Trap                  Two-Passengers, 1,600 lbs.  

Trap                  Four-Passengers seated dos-à-dos, 2,500 lbs, 3-hp motor 63” wb, 25-mile range at 12 mph.

Surrey              4-5 passengers, 2,700 lbs, 4-speeds, 3-hp motor

Delivery           2-passengers plus an 800 lb load. 2,900 lbs, 4-hp motor, 9-mph     

Racing Trap #1       completed mid May and exhibited at the New York Electrical Exposition. This was Riker’s personal 4-passenger Phaëton; it weighed 1500 lbs with an 800 lb 32 cell 100 Ampere hour ESB battery, four speeds; 5, 10, 18, & 25 mph. With a hot battery it weighed 1,890 lbs and could reach a top speed of 40 mph. Two 180 lb 3-hp Riker motors were bolted to the rear axle, with spur gears driving rear wheels at a 5-1 reduction, “T” bar tiller steering from the center of the dash. It was painted black with red wheels and gear.


Trap 4-passengers, 10 mph for four hours, 3-hp motor on rear axle, 1,000 RPM, 44 cells in rapid change crates, pneumatic 3-inch tires on 32 inch wheels at front and 36 inches at rear, 1,600 lbs.


Tricycle   800 lbs, 4’ wb, 4’ tread, 28” diameter 2½” pneumatic tires. ¾ kW 40 Volt motor weighing 60 lbs geared to a single drive wheel at an 8-1 ratio, with a rawhide pinion. There were three speeds forward and two in reverse. It had the new Weston model R duplex meter. Twenty cell 300 Lb battery for 25-mile range. The seat had a full width footboard to accommodate use of lap robes to warm the riders.

Physician’s Phaëton       1,400 Lbs, with a 650 Lb battery over the rear axle, 1½ kW (2-hp) motor attached directly to the rear axle, 35 mile range over fair roads, 3 inch pneumatic tires, twin elliptical leaf springs on the rear axle and a single transverse one at the front. A left hand lever was for steering and a right hand lever, in the seat, operated the speed control. A meter was mounted at the center of the dash. A four-inch leather faced band wrapped around a 14-inch brake drum.

Victoria   1,800 lbs, 12 mph, 1½ kW motor

Trap 2-passengers, 1,800 lbs, 1½ kW motor, 3 inch Hartford single tube tires, 50 inch gauge & 56 inch wheel base,

Trap 4-passengers  2,200 lbs, 2 kW motor, Hartford single tube tires inflated to 110-120 lbs. 60-inch wheelbase and 57-inch gauge

Surrey     6-passengers, 2,500 lbs, 13½ mph with 2 kW motor, 84 Volts, 1½” tube steel frame, 850 lb battery for 25 mile range  

Delivery           Tube steel frame, motor on rear axle, Wire wheels with pneumatic tires, two full elliptical springs at rear & a transverse reverse elliptical in the front. 2,900 lbs. 500 lb load capacity, plus two occupants


Trap         the street version cost $1,500

Runabout        two 1-hp motors, 1,000 lbs, 24-cells, 60 Ampere-hours

Mail Phaëton          4 passengers, 2.7 hp motor, 44-cells, 90 Ampere-hours

Brougham               2-passengers inside with a driver and attendant perched high outside in the front. Two 2.7 hp motors, 4,000 lbs, 44 cells, 100 Ampere hours.

Demi-Coach            4-passengers plus 2 at rear outside driving position, 2, 2.7 hp motors, 48 cells, 100 Ampere-hours, 80 inch wheel base, 4,200 Lbs. The remaining example is at the Smithsonian.

Dos-à-dos                4-passenger sporting Trap, made for Whitney Lyon of New York, 2 kW motor, 12 mph for 25 miles, three speeds, weight 2,500 lbs.

“Altman” Delivery Two 2.7 hp motors, 44 cells, 125 Ampere-hours, wood wheels, 68” wheelbase, pneumatic tires 38” front 42” rear, 3,600 Lbs., 1,000 pound load capacity plus driver and assistant, 9 mph for thirty miles.

Theatre Bus             12-passengers, 44 cells, 150 Ampere hours

Heavy Truck            8,000 lbs, two 3-kW motors, 4” wide solid rubber or steel wheels.


A Riker won the Bronze medal in the light truck (1,000-3,000 lbs) division at the Paris Exposition.

Runabout        2-passengers, two carriage lights, no headlight. Speed control by vertical lever at left, tiller steering, Weston bow-tie meter, wheel pivots in hubs for minimal road feedback, leather dash and fenders, transverse X springs at front, full elliptical springs at rear. Battery in boot


Dos-a-Dos, 4-passengers, single motor, same gear as Phaeton


Surrey, 4-passengers

Brougham, 3-passengers, driver high out front, two motor driving ring gears on the rear wheels

Station Cab     for public service, two motors, under-slung battery

Theatre ‘Bus, 3-passengers and driver outside (two on roof) six passengers, sideways inside, with rear entry

Hotel and Station ‘Bus, as theatre bus with eight passengers in cabin

Delivery, body as specified, two motors



Riker electrics were briefly marketed (1901-1902) by EVC/Columbia as “Riker Type” vehicles.

Hansom Cab

Square Front Brougham

Extension Front Brougham

Hotel bus

Delivery Wagon


Riker entered the September 1901 New York to Buffalo race in a gasoline Columbia. It was meant to finish at the Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo, but the shooting of President McKinley caused it to be called off. Riker had already dropped out due to mechanical problems. An EVC-Riker electric ambulance, on loan, transported McKinley to the Exposition hospital.

Riker built a specialty racecar. Rather than design a slippery body, the car had no body at all; just minimalist seats on a chassis. The steel tube platform used two motors geared to the rear wheels, with a 60-cell battery hanging below; it weighed 1,850 lbs. In November Riker set an electric land speed record on Coney Island at 57.14 mph, finishing fourth overall in a field of fourteen. The two motors had a nominal combined rating of six-horse power. A big 60 horsepower gasoline Mors managed 69.5 mph.

1902        Although “Riker Type” vehicles were still listed in the 1902 catalog it is not likely many were sold, as the Riker factory was closed in late 1901.

Roberts 1895-1897

Chicago Screw Co, Chicago, IL     

Charles E. Roberts made a fortune by inventing and building a business around automated machinery that made screws; he was better known as an early patron of Frank Lloyd Wright; an expensive hobby.

1896-7    Two proto-types were made        

         Stanhope         two 2-hp motors drove the rear wheels directly via half axles. The car had simple wagon brakes on the rear wheels, said to go 20 mph for 50 miles.

         Stanhope         with one motor on the rear axle, and brake drums at the rear wheels


Roland Gas-Electric Vehicle Corp           1912

Hybrid busses for Chicago, IL

Rover               1888                

Coventry Machinists Company, Warwickshire, England

In 1888 the sewing machine company that would become the Rover Motor Car Company made a prototype electric car.


Royal                1904-1906 

Royal Automobile Co Chicago, IL

In January 1906, Royal had an entry in the Vanderbilt Cup race.



Rumpler          1921       

Edmund Rumpler, E. Berlin, Germany

Mostly light streamlined gasoline cars. He had worked with Hans Ledwinka, and invented the swing axle rear end.