by Eric Peters at

This is a simple question about EVs that deserves an answer: Why is it that they were replaced – by the free market – the first time around?

The question contains the answer. It is because we had a free market the first time around.

Italics emphasize the past tense.

What happened – back then – was roughly as follows: The first cars with engines were difficult to start – and cantankerous to operate, once you got them started. They did not have starters. You started them –- by hand. This took a degree of physical strength as well as agility that kept most women (and many men) from being able to start those first cars. Assuming you managed to get the engine running, if you wanted to get the car moving, you had to have mastered the skills of shifting and clutching. This was much more difficult than it is today, because each shift had to be timed to road speed and engine speed because in those early days, gears were not synchronized. You had to know how to double-clutch, which today almost no one who isn’t a professional race car driver [or truck driver —Eds] knows how to do.

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