Illustrierte Zeitung Leipzig und Berlin from 1905
„Illustrierte Zeitschrift“,
from July 6th, 1905

115 years before the jack-of-all-trades Elon Musk and his Tesla company, the German Reichspost introduced electrically powered motor cars in the Reich capital Berlin.

Electrically powered motor cars of the German Reichspost in the former Reich capital Berlin – statements of an enthusiastic editor in the then „Illustrierte Zeitschrift“ from 1905:
„Due to the invention of motor cars or automobiles, which are used in ever wider circles, the street life of our big cities is slowly beginning to give a completely different picture.“ A truly prophetic statement from an observer in a 1905 newspaper, in which the writer refers to electrically powered vehicles.

Report on electrically powered motor cars used as mail vans of the German Reichspost in Berlin, from 1905

The electric „accumulator“ is used less than the gasoline engine, the editor writesand since it is very expensive and heavy, it is only recommended for heavy vehicles, according to his commentary, which is still valid for the year 2020. „But for such purposes it has proved so successful that the Reichspost has now introduced electrically powered motor cars to transport parcels to and from the stations.“
Due to doubts about the suitability and reliability of the electric motor cars, they were initially only allowed to follow in horse-drawn carriages, without parcels. Apparently, however, the electrically powered car proved so successful that it slowly replaced the horse-drawn carriages. Such an electric car, whose picture we are also happy to show here, could travel 15 kilometres per hour.
Its appearance differs considerably from a Tesla!

Elektrischer Postwagen der Deutschen Reichspost – Electric motor mail car in Berlin
Electric motor mail car in Berlin

Apparently, due to the heavy car traffic in the capital and the associated danger of „collisions“, it was not possible to increase the speed of the electric cars, although this would have been technically feasible at the time. The „easy steering of the heavy vehicle“ was striking. For today’s viewer of the picture, this statement might seem doubtful. The postal administration is very satisfied, the editor continues, and he suspects that with these new, state-of-the-art vehicles, the horse-drawn carriages could soon be a thing of the past.
These are interesting statements, and if the editor could only have known at the time what Elon Musk is pushing and achieving today with his Tesla enterprise of electrically powered vehicles! The question may be allowed, what will be possible in another 115 years in this world…. There are certainly no limits to the imagination of the reader / readers.

With the kindest regards from the team

© 2020 by Christian Dueblin. All rights reserved. Other publications are only allowed with the explicit permission of the author.