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Some EV History - Page W

Last updated 2018.01.14

Introduction | Acknowledgements | Other Sources of EV History Information
Your Information Is Invited | Why are there so few electric cars?

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Items of Historical Interest in the Development and Commercialization of EVs

- W -

W & E

Walker Vehicle Company

This firm built electric and gasoline-electric hybrid trucks from 1918 or earlier until at least 1942 in Chicago IL. The same marque may have been manufactured by the Automobile Maintenance Co. prior to this. A 1918 Model P 3.5-ton open cab version (serial number 1686) is on display at the Hays Antique Truck Museum at Woodland CA. The Walker 1 ton balance drive electric truck was used by distinctive stores and manufacturers to deliver goods in towns. The van is driven by an electric motor developing 3 1/2 h.p. it had a range of around 50-60 miles on a single charge and could reach speeds of 12 mph. The only known working example is owned by Harrods Limited of Knightsbridge London and it still takes part in the annual historical commercial vehicle London to Brighton run.
1907 Walker electric truck (colour - 43k)
1918 Walker Model P electric truck - front view (colour - 21k) copyright 1997 Bob Wing - used here with permission
1918 Walker Model P electric truck - view of motor copyright 1997 Bob Wing - used here with permission
Specifications for 1918 Walker 3.5 ton chassis, Model P electric truck
Type: forward-control, open-enclosed cab 4x2
Serial No.: 1686
Wheelbase: 131"
Engine: Westinghouse electric motor mounted in rear axle
Batteries: 44 cells
Transmission: none
Rear Axle: Walker hollow axle with integral electric motor, spur type gear reduction, 15:59 ratio Front Axle: I-beam
Springs: semi-elliptic leaf, front and rear
Brakes: mechanical, external contracting on rear wheels
Steering: left side wheel, Ross steering gear
Wheels: Walker cast steel solid disc
Tires: 36" x 5" front and dual rear
Weight: 5,600 lbs
Top Speed: 12 mph empty, 9 mph loaded
Range: 40 - 50 miles per charge
Price (new): $3,600 (without batteries)


The Ward Motor Vehicle Co. of New York City NY produced the Ward electric from 1914 to 1916. This car was a 2-door, 4-seater with an enclosed body. It claimed a range of 100 miles per charge. The firm appears to have moved to Mount Vernon NY and continued to produce electric trucks into at least the 1920s. An example of a W.S.2 Electric Van (small electric delivery van - circa 1920) built by the Ward Motor Vehicle Company is in the collection of the Canadian National Museum of Science and Technology. The museum claims the vehicle had a top speed of 38 km/h (29 mph).
[link has bit-rotted:] Walker Transportation Collection Ward Electric Entry
(Unfortunately, the new website for the Walker Transportation Collection is far less informative than the old version. If you want additional information about electric vehicles in their collection, you can try e-mailing them at

Ward Leonard

The Ward Leonard Electrical Co. of Bronxville NY built an electric car from 1901 to 1903.

Waterbury Motor Company

Waterbury Solar-Electric Car

There is no evidence that this vehicle ever got beyond the concept stage. The brainchild of Nelson J. Waterbury, the idea was likely a response to the 1973 OPEC oil embargo. A promotional booklet was produced for the vehicle, but that is probably the most concrete form the vehicle ever took. The eight pages of the booklet are reproduced here (from my personal collection of memorabilia). The booklet is undated, but is likely circa 1974 based on the content. The text is presented in both English and German.
Page [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8]

Waterman, Chandler H. - see U.S. Electricar


The Waverley Co. of Indianapolis IN produced the Waverley electric car from 1896 until 1914. From 1903 to 1907, these were sold as the Pope-Waverley (see also). While a variety of models were offered over the years, most were closed body types with 2 doors and 4-seaters. There is a 1903 Waverley in the holdings of the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn MI.
[link has bit-rotted:] The Auto Museum writeup on a 1909 Waverley
Period advertisement (1912) (B&W - 161k)

W & E Vehicles





Westcoaster - see Otis

Western Research Industries

Producers of the Lectricar II (conversion of the Datsun 310) and Lektrikr pickups (conversion of the Datsun pickup truck) in the late 1970's to early 1980's, based in Las Vegas NV.


Lektrikar II



Content of Marketeer Owners Manual
Disclaimer - the company that produced the original manual has gone out of business many years ago, so you cannot order the parts shown. This material has been reproduced from a photocopy of limited quality, so some of the material which has been re-typed may be incorrect due to typographical errors or incorrect guesses as to the original text. No responsibility is assumed for any errors which may be found in this material, it is presented for information purposes only.

[link has bit-rotted:] Legend EV's History of the Marketeer

Westinghouse S.A. (Spain)

Electric Seat 127



Produced by Hope Automobil Industri of Denmark, beginning in 1984. The vehicle claimed a cruising speed of 100 km/h and a range of 110 km on a charge. While the vehicle was marketed in North America, it appears that few were sold in North America.
Photo of Whisper (B&W - 53k) circa 1984.


Partridge-Wilson (see also) of Leicester (England) were known primarily as the builders of commercial electric vehicles (such as milk delivery floats) until at least the mid-1950's. In 1935 and 1936 they also produced an electric car under the Wilson marque, a 2-door with a long hood with styling comparable to gasoline-powered cars of the period. There may have been as many as fifty of these cars produced, which claimed a range of 40 miles per charge and a top speed of 27 mph.


A fleet of these tiny 2-seater electric cars was set up in Amsterdam in the 1970's. Members of a co-operative were entitled to pick up one of the vehicles at any of a number of charging stations around Amsterdam, and drop the vehicle off at any other station. The vehicles were owned collectively, not privately. These vehicles used nickel-cadmium batteries.
[link has bit-rotted:] English summary text for Alexander's Witkar page


The Woods Motor Vehicle Co. of Chicago IL produced electric cars from 1899 to 1919, making it one of the longest-lived EV producers of the early 1900's. It made a variety of models, including the 1917 Woods Dual Power - a parallel hybrid that included a 12-hp, 4-cylinder gasoline engine as an auxilliary drive system in addition to the electric drive train. Top speed in electric-only mode was reported as 20 mph, while a speed of 35 mph could be reached with both drive systems engaged. There is a 1916 Woods Dual Power (hybrid) in the holdings of the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn MI.

Notes from W. Zablosky:
a)when this company started it had 10 million dollars of capital stock, some of the backers were from Toronto
b)the company bought the patents of Clinton E. Woods and hired him as a superintendent
c) the original Woods company soon went bankrupt in 1901
d) the Woods Company did not build very many vehicles prior to 1901
e) apparently a Woods Electric was one of the very first automobiles in Hawaii
f) the company also operated a taxi fleet prior to receivership
g) production soon sped up after the reorganization of the company in 1902.
Image of No 11 Theater Bus from 1899 original brochure (B&W - 218k) (courtesy W. Zablosky)
Woods 1910 Advertisement

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