Detroit Free Press: EVs are new to you but have long history in Motor City

Detroit Free Press: EVs are new to you but have long history in Motor City

Detroit Free Press: EVs are new to you but have long history in Motor City

Dec. 18, 2021 – The last time I was in a driver’s training, I was behind the wheel of an old Dodge Dart in the parking lot of Denby High on Detroit‘s east side where my instructor taught me and other teens as we took turns driving slowly around those orange barrels.

I found myself in a different kind of driver’s training recently. More of a test drive. Only this time I was in an electric car — one unlike any other on the road.

It had no steering wheel or pedals for gas or brakes. Instead, it had two levers that moved up and down to control those functions.

It was a 1922 Detroit Electric car — owned by Mujeeb Ijaz, founder and CEO of Our Next Energy Inc. who gave me instructions as we drove in the parking lot that circled his facility in Novi.

Ijaz is a student of electric history and has an enviable collection — brochures, ads, photos, newspaper articles — from the early glory years of electric vehicles. Many are from Henry Ford and Thomas Alva Edison who once tried to bring an EV to a national audience. EVs were the most popular vehicles with over 100 companies making them in the 1900s. But the internal combustion engine won out and EVs were relegated to back burner by the 1930s.

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