Re: No surprise
"What killed the early EVs was the cost of electricity back then"
And batteries. The lead acid cells of the day had a short life and limited discharge rate. As a result electric buggies could compete with horses, which had a very heavy power plant with a limited lifespan and range, but not with the Benz engine which even in those days had a comparatively light power plant and fuel.
A horse weighs around 3/4 tonne and needs ancillary gear (harness etc.). That weight of batteries in those days represented only around 3.6kWH, (if you wanted a reasonably long life), equivalent to one small horse power for 4 hours but running at 10-12mph, well beyond the range of the horse. Once a car with an engine and transmission weighing 1/4 tonne could do 30mph on 20kg of fuel or so, lead acid buggies were done.