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Gasoline’s had a long run, but few agree on how much longer


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Gasoline has been flowing freely from the pumps for so long that we forget how the newly born car industry took nearly 30 years to figure out which fuel would power the automotive century. Stanley built steam-powered cars until 1924, and it was the Great Depression that knocked out Doble, another steam brand, and Detroit Electric, which built a total of 13,000 of what we now call “battery-electric vehicles” before its demise in 1939. By then, crude oil and its several byproducts were already the dominant source of propulsion energy and lubricant in transportation, and as plastics developed, oil became crucial to the production of cars as well.


This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://www.hagerty.com/articles-videos/articles/2018/07/25/fate-of-fuel