History of Electric Vehicles in the U.S. Postal Service (1899 – 1950)

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The history of electric vehicles in the United States Postal Service (USPS) is a very isolated and mostly unknown story. The first electric vehicle tested by USPS was the Winston electric automobile in 1899 during a snowstorm, vastly outperforming its horse-drawn cousin. Unfortunately the decision to move towards an automobile operated on gasoline came following a comparison test between the electric automobile and the gasoline powered one. Although their performances were very comparable, gasoline powered automobiles were seen as preferable due to their short refueling time as compared to charging electric vehicles. At its height, electric vehicles accounted for nearly one third of all commercial vehicles in 1914, but were quickly phased out following the mass-production of gasoline powered automobiles by Ford Motor Company.


EV History, Part 1 by Lucas McCullum