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Early cars were more easily operated as electric vehicles, as many 19th century automobiles were cumbersome, dirty, noisy, and less preferred by consumers. That changed by the 1910s, resulting in the near death of electric vehicles. When research once again picked up in the 1970s, electric cars were not much better in range than their 1890s-1900s peers. It was only since the 1990s, and particularly the effect of the Prius, that began to increase interest in electric vehicles and those with alternative fuels. Today, some countries in Europe have begun to introduce eventual bans on all gasoline vehicles at a future date. This might now be a major lifeline given to more rapid development of electric vehicles.