A Brief Overview
The first electric cars were built in the United States in 1891. They were quieter, smoother, easier to drive, and required less maintenance than petrol cars. During the First World War the cost of petrol doubled in Australia and electric cars became so popular that in 1916 Sydney City Council set up a special charging station in Palmer Street, where owners could recharge their vehicles for a reasonable fee. At this time it was expected that the petrol engine would soon become obsolete, but the electric car continued to be hampered by its heavy batteries. The inability to find a cheap and easy-to-produce alternative battery, the limited range and its lower maximum speed were restrictions that are still not fully resolved today.