Practical if you don't like traveling very far... which was practical then. I drive 35k miles a year- those vehicles would not qualify as practical.
Read this book:
His point is that the reason the internal combustion engine prevailed over electric cars in the early 1900s was due to cultural forces, not the inherent superiority of the particular technology. (This should be a truism to all of us who do our computing on Windows platforms.)
In 1900, most Americans didn't drive 35k miles a year. They had no need to drive 35k miles per year. American cities and towns were walkable and good public transportation was available. The cities and towns were linked by an extensive railway system. The main advantage of motorized road transport was its potential to displace horse-drawn transport, thus eliminating manure pollution in cities and towns. In that context, electric vehicles with short ranges would work perfectly well. The actual deployment included taxis and delivery vehicles, which all returned to base on a regular basis, and thus could get charged or a battery swap fairly easily. One could even imagine (though I don't think it ever came to pass) a Zip-Car like service, where the general public could subscribe and have electric city cars available for short term rentals, which might e useful if they were visiting at odd hors in remote neighborhoods with few taxis or they were going to the store to pick up something too gig to carry home on the streetcar, or they just wanted to tool around for the afternoon. The only people who needed the range of the internal combustion engine were farmers, who did need to drive long distances and rich enthusiasts who enjoyed touring the countryside. (I suppose there were then, as there are now, people who have a psychological need to project power via the use of a noisy engine; read about the fake engine noise they program into today's quieter cars.)
Now, one curious cultural pattern among Americans is that even is they are urban proletariat or professionals, etc., they have a self image of bing farmers, pioneers, or lords of the manor. This is the cultural context that caused them to all desire the internal combustion car that was a better fit for farmers than for an urban apartment dwelling New Yorker (or Chcagoan, or whatever city they lived in). Once the public started buying the cars, the real estate developers were only too happy to sell them suburbia and a way of life where, yes, the additional range of an internal combustion car was a distinct advantage. The result is our current situation where nearly everyone, if they live outside a few neighborhood in New York, Boston. Phialdelpha, Washington, Chicago, or San Fransisco, needs to have a car for daily mobility needs, and in most cases, needs the extended range provided by an internal combustion engine. Mr. Musk's contribution is that his team developed an electric car that could compete on the basis of range with internal combustions cars. But had our culture been different, such competition wouldn't have been necessary, and we'd have perfectly good mobility with circa 1900 electric cars as part of a balanced transportation system in cities that are configured completely differently than they are today.