Riker Electric Vehicle Company

The Riker was a veteran and brass era electric car founded in 1898 in Elizabeth, New Jersey. Designed by Andrew L. Riker, they were built in small numbers until the company was absorbed by the Electric Vehicle Company in 1901.[1][2]

Riker Electric Vehicle Company
PredecessorRiker Electric Motor Company
Founded1898; 126 years ago (1898)
FounderAndrew L. Riker
Defunct1901 (1901)
FateAbsorbed by Electric Vehicle Company
SuccessorRiker Motor Vehicle Company
HeadquartersElizabeth, New Jersey,
ProductsElectric vehicles
Production output
unknown (1898-1901)
1900 Riker Motor Vehicle Co. advertisement

History edit

Andrew Riker built his first vehicle in 1887. It was an English Coventry tricycle with electric power. He founded the Riker Electric Motor Company in Brooklyn in 1888. In 1894 he built his first four-wheel car by putting a pair of Remington bicycles together with electric power added. That year he also began building an electric racer which competed against gasoline cars at the 1896 Narragansett Park race in Rhode Island.[1]

Scientific American reported the Riker Electric Motor Company, of Brooklyn, N. Y., as the winner of the horseless carriage race, the prize being $900. The fastest mile was made by the Riker, "the time being 2:13." This was the first automobile race done around a track in the United States.[3]

Riker made his first sale in 1897. From that time a variety of electric vehicles bore the Riker name including runabouts, Victorias, surreys, hansom cabs and heavy trucks. In December 1900 he merged his company with the Electric Vehicle Company and only trucks were built under the Riker name afterwards.[4]

In 1901 as Riker Motor Vehicle Company, he designed an 8-hp 2-cylinder gasoline car, and a 16-hp 4-cylinder car which he offered to the Electric Vehicle Company, but they declined it. He partnered with the Overman Company to produce the gasoline cars in Chicopee Falls. Overman merged with Locomobile Company of America and in 1903 these became the first gasoline automobiles offered by Locomobile.[4]

Andrew Riker became a vice-president for Locomobile and was the first president of the Society of Automotive Engineers.[1]

See also edit

External links edit

  • A.L. Riker Photos and articles about the early years of the Riker Electric Vehicles
  • "America on the Move - Riker electric automobile". National Museum of American History. Smithsonian Institution. 2 November 2016.

References edit

  1. ^ a b c Kimes, Beverly Rae; Clark Jr., Henry Austin (1996). Standard Catalog of American Cars 1805-1942 (3rd ed.). Krause Publications. ISBN 978-0-87341-428-9.
  2. ^ "A GREEN-MOTORING PIONEER; 1898 RIKER ELECTRIC.(NEWS)", AutoWeek, Crain Communications, Inc, 60 (7): 49, 2010-04-19, ISSN 0192-9674
  3. ^ "Providence Horseless Carriage Race 1896". Scientific American. Archived from the original on 2011-07-14.
  4. ^ a b Georgano, Nick (2001). The Beaulieu Encyclopedia of the Automobile (3 vol. ed.). Fitzroy Dearborn Publishers. ISBN 1-57958-293-1.