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Electric vehicles first appeared in the mid-19th century.

An electric vehicle held the vehicular land speed record until around 1900.

Before the pre-eminence of internal combustion engines, electric automobiles also held many speed and distance records.

Electric trains were also used to transport coal out of mines, as their motors did not use up precious oxygen.Electric cars were often marketed as suitable vehicles for women drivers due to their ease of operation; in fact, early electric cars were stigmatized by the perception that they were "women's cars", leading some companies to affix radiators to the front to disguise the car's propulsion system.Acceptance of electric cars was initially hampered by a lack of power infrastructure, but by 1912, many homes were wired for electricity, enabling a surge in the popularity of the cars.Production of the car was in the hands of the Elwell-Parker Company, established in 1882 for the construction and sale of electric trams.The company merged with other rivals in 1888 to form the Electric Construction Corporation; this company had a virtual monopoly on the British electric car market in the 1890s.

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