Many of the new cars were powered by electricity. Their energy was cleaner than gas-powered internal combustion engines (ICE). Only sleazy political dealings gave the petroleum industry and ICEs commercial advantages that allowed it to dominate the automotive industry for the next hundred years.
As we now return to electric vehicles (EV) to combat climate change we're starting to see new car companies and designs emerge. The creativity of a century ago is emerging again in developing alternatives to carbon-spewing ICEs.
I'm sure you know about EVs but have you heard about solar-powered cars? Really! They're in final stages of development and one company will produce cars later this year (Aptera). Two other companies will open soon in Europe (Lightyear 0 and Sono Motors Sion). These vehicles charge their engines by solar panels and can also accept power from other sources. They pollute less than EVs and will become an interesting alternative. I plan to be the first kid on my block to get one!