There were 3 competing technologies for automobiles at the turn of the century - internal combustion, steam and electric. Many people don’t realize that electric cars were constructed from the 1890’s, and sold in significant numbers. The Baker and Detroit electrics were probably the most succesful makes.
When I was a kid, I knew a family that had a vintage 1903 Baker Electric - they broke it out for parades and things like that. Here’s a picture of a 1902 Baker Electric:
Electrics had the same disadvantages then as they do now - wimpy power and limited range. They were seen as low maintenance and easy to operate, and were popular with women and house-call-making doctors who used them as in-town runabouts. Henry Ford’s wife drove an electric, actually. She didn’t think gas-powered cars were really safe, however many Model T’s her hubby’s factory turned out. Henry Ford endorsed Detroit Electric, the make his wife drove, in a published advertisment.
Stanley, White and Doble were among the steam-driven makes. There is a persistent urban legend that the disappearance of public horse-troughs killed off steamers, but it is more likely that it was the invention of the electric starter. With that advance, internal combustion automobiles became something you just hopped in, mashed the starter with your foot , and took off. Steamers required a warm-up, though the last of them had gotten the cold start time down to something which wasn’t too bad.
Dobles were quite well engineered and interesting, probably the apex of commercially produced steam automobiles. Doble went bankrupt in the early 30’s: