Dear EarthTalk: I see more and more EVs out of the road. When will they start to outnumber internal combustion cars on American roads? — Jane L., New Bern, North Carolina

Electric vehicles (EVs) have been around about as long as cars themselves. In fact, primitive EVs were the dominant form of automotive transportation at the dawn of the auto age in Europe and the U.S. in the late 19th century. It wasn’t until the 1920s — when the U.S. road system was starting to be built out and cheap oil was available from newly tapped Texas oil fields — that internal combustion cars began to take over as the predominant vehicles across the United States.

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