Taking Stock 

BP deal shows 'Big Oil' awake to EV

Mark Robinson

BP deal shows 'Big Oil' awake to EV

In 1888, three years after Karl Benz successfully developed the first petroleum-powered automobile, his wife Bertha took the 1.6-litre Mark III Benz Patent-Motorwagen for its maiden long-distance spin on public roads – a 112-mile round trip between Mannheim and Pforzheim. Along the way, Frau Benz – who was a leading thinker in the early development of the motor car – purchased benzene at various pharmacies to keep the show on the road, which she managed with only minor technical hitches. Although the exact journey time wasn’t recorded, it’s thought to be around 15 hours – excluding rest stops. It’s a great story, particularly given that Bertha Benz hadn’t bothered to tell her husband where she was headed – let alone that she had borrowed the car keys.

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