powered by

Driving the future of sustainable mobility

This article was published on February 19, 2021


Watch Jay Leno get nostalgic and swoon over this 1909 EV

Is this where it all started?



Matthew Beedham
Story by

Matthew Beedham

Editor, SHIFT by TNW

Matthew is the editor of SHIFT. He likes electric cars, and other things with wheels, wings, or hulls. Matthew is the editor of SHIFT. He likes electric cars, and other things with wheels, wings, or hulls.

It seems there’s never been so much chatter about electric cars as there is today. You’d think that electric cars are a product of the modern era, a totally new technology never before seen.

Well, if you think that, you’re wrong. Sorry pal. When personal automobiles began to gain popularity among the upper echelons of society over 100 years ago, they weren’t gasoline, they were electric. People had charging points at their homes, and there were even battery swap stations for public use.

[Read: How do you build a pet-friendly gadget? We asked experts and animal owners]

One of the first ever electric vehicles was the Baker, it looks kinda like Henry Ford slapped a ski-lift gondola on some wheels.

The best bit, though: the batteries were made by Thomas Edison, not Nikola Tesla.

Unsurprisingly, Jay Leno owns one — there aren’t many cars Leno hasn’t owned. If you’ve got a few minutes to spare this weekend, watch Leno do his thing and swoon over his 1909, ultra low maintenance, Baker electric car.


SHIFT is brought to you by Polestar. It’s time to accelerate the shift to sustainable mobility. That is why Polestar combines electric driving with cutting-edge design and thrilling performance.Find out how.