The Autoette Electric Car Co of Long Beach, California was founded by Royce Seevers in 1947. The batteries were made especially by Trojan for the car, and the motor was initially a converted Dodge starter motor (later a unit designed specifically for Autoette).
Various models were made, from golf buggies to trucks, but the CruiseAbout was the closest thing to a road car that Autoette made. Two- and four-seater versions, as well as open-topped and closed models, were built up to the 1970s. Autoettes were available with a broad range of accessories, usually installed by the dealer as upgrades. These included windscreens, doors, convertible tops, side curtains, and more.
The Autoette was also marketed and sold as an early electric wheelchair or invalid car for the disabled. Starting in 1953 some models could be equipped with a small “accessible” door on the vehicle’s curb side, at the level of the seat, to facilitate entry.
The electric 3-wheelers were popular in Long Beach where many retired people live. For three cents a day, the maker claimed you could ride all day on one charge. The CruiseAbout has a place for two and 35 mile (ca. 56 km) range. Top speed was only 12 mph (ca. 19 km/h). The Autoette had three speeds forward and reverse. Braking was done on the drive shaft. Full spring suspension and pneumatic tires cushions the ride.
- Seats: 2
- Engine: electric
- Range: 35 miles (ca. 56 km)
- Maximum speed: 12 mph (ca. 19 km/h)
- Suspension: springs