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Home > The Electric Vehicle Company(1897-1907) and the Automobile Patent

The Electric Vehicle Company(1897-1907) and the Automobile Patent

The Electric Vehicle Company(1897-1907)

The Electric Vehicle Company was founded as a holding company of battery-powered electric automobile manufacturers made up of several car companies assembled by Isaac L. Rice beginning in 1897 It was taken over in 1899 by William C. Whitney and P. A. B. Widener's, thus forming the so-called "Lead Cab Trust," which hoped to develop a monopoly by placing electric cabs on the streets of major American cities.
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The firm actually made and sold about two thousand electric cars as taxis to several American cities, but fell into hard times in 1900 after facing competition from gas-powered cars and legal problems stemming from monopolistic practices, as well as scandal surrounding the poor performance of its vehicles.

Selden Patent - Patent of the internal combustion engine vehicles
After the collapse of the trust, Electric Vehicle's chief asset was the holding of the Selden Patent which established a right to royalties from all manufacturers of internal combustion engine vehicles. While this was initially lucrative, it led inevitably to opposition from the other manufacturers and expensive lawsuits, which ended with bankruptcy in 1907 and the patent being overthrown in 1911.




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