EVA England is proud to present an original and unrestored 121 year old Waverley Electric at Fully Charged LIVE UK South 2023, kindly lent to us by one of our members.

Newspaper clipping from 1901, picturing the Waverley Electric and descibing it as "The Perfect Electric Vehicle"

Manufactured in 1901 by the AMERICAN BICYCLE COMPANY, Indianapolis, Indiana, USA.

Cost new $925

Steering is by tiller, the handle has a push-button which, when pressed, sounds an electric gong under the car.

There is a speed regulation lever beside the driver which has three positions forward of the neutral notch. When forced backward, it produces electric braking and regenerative battery charging.

A reversing lever projects forward beneath the driver’s seat allowing three speeds in reverse.

A pedal applies the side brakes for ordinary use, and a second pedal an emergency band brake on the motor shaft.

The motor is 48 volts.

In 1901, the Waverley Electric was advertised as “The Perfect Electric Vehicle”,  going 60 miles on one charge. It is still capable of this today on its current 8 x 6-volt lead acid golf buggy batteries. Apart from the batteries the car is original and unrestored.

Of the 4,192 vehicles being produced in the United States in 1900, 1,575 were electric, 1,681 ran on steam and only 936 of them ran on gasoline (petrol) in what they called an Exploding Engine (ICE).

122 years ago, electric cars were being sold because they didn’t have any of the issues associated with steam or gasoline. They were quiet, easy to drive and didn’t emit a smelly pollutant like the other cars of the time.

It was Henry Ford’s mass-produced Model T that dealt a blow to the electric car. Introduced in 1908, the Model T made gasoline-powered cars widely available and affordable. By 1912, the gasoline car cost only $650, while an electric roadster sold for $1,750.

The same year, Charles Kettering introduced the electric starter.

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