My Car Quest

July 20, 2024

Editorial: The Importance of an Electric Car Class at a Concours d’Elegance

by Wallace Wyss –

Which concours? The fanciest one in the US — Pebble Beach. In the concours 2021 event they plan to have one, a class for electric cars.

I don’t know how far in the past it will go but presumably some very early ones like the Baker Electric. I feel this is good timing for Pebble Beach because automakers all over the world are announcing a cut off date for internal combustion engines, shoving over 100 years of hard work off the table.

I presume they will still show internal combustion cars at concours in 2035 but it’s time to now start educating everybody about how far electric cars had come before they were “drowned out” by internal combustion engine cars in the auto industry’s early years.

Thomas Edison poses with his first electric car, the Edison Baker, and one of its batteries, c.1895.

Thomas Edison with his first electric car, the Edison Baker. He is holding one of the batteries used to power the vehicle. (Photo by General Photographic Agency/Getty Images)

Now at least at this concours there will be some filling in of the background of early efforts in electrics. I hope they will include electric efforts from abroad. And maybe on the perimeter have tents for automakers to show the latest prototype for upcoming electric cars. These tents could cost the automakers money and add to the kitty, which might be suffering if a lot of the old crowd is still avoiding gatherings then.

Electric cars of the New York Edison Company line up in Manhattan.  Image: Bettmann/Corbis

1906, Manhattan, New York City — Electric cars of the New York Edison Company. — Image by © Bettmann/CORBIS

Let us know what you think in the Comments.

Wallace Wyss

THE AUTHOR: Wallace Wyss is the author of 18 car books whose commentary on classics can be heard on Autotalk, a radio show. Currently he is a fine artist doing portraits of collectible cars in oil.


Editorial: The Importance of an Electric Car Class at a Concours d'Elegance
Article Name
Editorial: The Importance of an Electric Car Class at a Concours d'Elegance
The Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance plans to have a class for electric cars in August 2021.


  1. I hope experimental cars like this one will be a part of this class.

    In 1966 General Motors experimented with an electric car based on the 1966 Corvair called the Electrovair II. It was powered by a silver zinc battery pack located in the front and the rear producing 532 volts.

  2. Glen Durmisevich says

    Back in 2005 we had several alternative power plants represented at the EyesOn Design Car Show in Michigan. They weren’t judged but we had everything from. Detroit and Baker Electric, a Stanley Steamer and many others up to the latest Honda Insight and a BMW hydrogen powered 7 series.

  3. Kelly A Dietrick says

    I am helping a client build an electric car using a replica California Spyder body. We believe there will be a market for the electrification of classic cars.
    In a way we have come full circle.

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