Pioneers. Steinmetz Electric Motor Car. 1923

Stock certificate for Steinmetz Electric Motor Car Corp


Charles Steinmetz formed the Steinmetz Electric Motor Car Co. in 1920 to designed prototypes of several electric vehicles. The company was in Brooklyn, where it produced an industrial truck and a lightweight delivery car.

The first electrical Steinmetz truck hit the road in early 1922 by climbing a steep hill in Brooklyn as a publicity stunt. In October, the company claimed to have developed a five-passenger coupe.

Steinmetz planned for the company to turn out 1,000 trucks and 300 cars annually, but that was cut short by his death in 1923. The company folded shortly after Steinmetz’s death when a lawsuit from a shareholder revealed that the company had misrepresented the number of cars being produced.

No less an authority than the IEEE has a paper titled “Steinmetz’s electric car: a legend speaks across the years” which was published in 2005.

Steinmetz, according to the NY Daily News, pioneered alternating current, sold a company to GE, had 200 patents, was a dwarf and hunchback, and an “outspoken Socialist” as well. Interesting guy!

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