The Studebaker Electric wis an automobile produced bi the Studebaker Brothers Manufacturing Company o South Bend, Indiana, a forerunner o the Studebaker Corporation. The battery-pouered caurs wur sauld frae 1902 tae 1912.
Studebaker entered intae the automobile manufacturin field in 1898 when Frederick S. Fish, as chairman o the executive committee,:p.66 persuadit the board tae supply $4,000 for the development o an electric vehicle. Housomeivver, lackin the board’s full support, the project yieldit ane caur. The company did, housomeivver, enter intae the field o producin bodies for electric taxis through Alexander Pope’s Electric Vehicle Company.
Studebaker formally began production in earnest in 1902, an the company chose battery-pouered electric vehicles acause they wur clean, easily recharged, an wirkt well in urban centers athoot need o refuelin depots (gas stations).
Studebaker Electrics wur available in a variety o body styles, mony o which mimickt the bodies that it haed lang produced for its lucrative passenger carriage line. These includit the Stanhope, Victoria, an Surrey. A fower-passenger model wis introduced in 1904.
Fish realized early on that Studebaker’s future did no rest in the limited electric caur, but in the gasoline-pouered automobile. Studebaker’s field o expertise wis in body buildin an product distribution, no ingine buildin. This realization led tae the creation o the Studebaker-Garford automobile in 1904. The joint agreement wirkt well till 1909-1910 when Garford attemptit tae divert chassis tae its awn brand o automobile, an Studebaker, leukin for an affordable caur tae sell entered intae an agreement wi the E-M-F Company o Detroit. E-M-F woud build the entire caur, which woud then be distributit through Studebaker wagon dealers.
Still, Studebaker continued tae build electric vehicles till Fish decidit tae begin the process o seizin control o E-M-F in 1909, which Studebaker completit bi 1910.:p.70
By 1912, it became conventional wisdom that the future lay in gasoline-pouered ingines rather than hivy, sluggish electrics, an the limitit production o electric caurs stopt. An offeecial annooncement frae the newly re-incorporatit Studebaker Corporation statit:
- The production o electric automobiles at South Bend haes endit. . . It haes been conductit for nine years athoot muckle success, an ultimately the superiority o the gasoline caur (is) apparent.
- Longstreet, Stephen. A Century on Wheels: The Story of Studebaker. New York: Henry Holt and Company. p. 121. 1st edn., 1952.