The History of the Electric Car — Introduced more than 100 years ago, electric cars are seeing a rise in popularity today for many of the same reasons they were first popular.
Whether it’s a hybrid, plug-in hybrid or all-electric, the demand for electric drive vehicles will continue to climb as prices drop and consumers look for ways to save money at the pump. Currently more than 3 percent of new vehicle sales, electric vehicles sales could to grow to nearly 7 percent — or 6.6 million per year — worldwide by 2020, according to https://daihatsujakbar.com/ a report by Navigant Research.
With this growing interest in electric vehicles, we are taking a look at where this technology has been and where it’s going. Travel back in time with us as we explore the history of the electric car.
The History of the Electric Car
The birth of the electric vehicle
It’s hard to pinpoint the invention of the electric car to one inventor or country. Instead it was a series of breakthroughs — from the battery to the electric motor — in the 1800s that led to the first electric vehicle on the road.
In the early part of the century, innovators in Hungary, the Netherlands and the United States — including a blacksmith from Vermont — began toying with the concept of a battery-powered vehicle and created some of the first small-scale electric cars. And while Robert Anderson, a British inventor, developed the first crude electric carriage around this same time, it wasn’t until the second half of the 19th century that French and English inventors built some of the first practical electric cars.
Here in the U.S., the first successful electric car made its debut around 1890 thanks to William Morrison, a chemist who lived in Des Moines, Iowa. His six-passenger vehicle capable of a top speed of 14 miles per hour was little more than an electrified wagon, but it helped spark interest in electric vehicles.
The early rise and fall of the electric car
To understand the popularity of electric vehicles circa 1900, it is also important to understand the development of the personal vehicle and the other options available. At the turn of the 20th century, the horse was still the primary mode of transportation. But as Americans became more prosperous, they turned to the newly invented motor vehicle — available in steam, gasoline or electric versions — to get around.
Steam was a tried and true energy source, having proved reliable for powering factories and trains. Some of the first self-propelled vehicles in the late 1700s relied on steam; yet it took until the 1870s for the technology to take hold in cars. Part of this is because steam wasn’t very practical for personal vehicles. Steam vehicles required long startup times — sometimes up to 45 minutes in the cold — and would need to be refilled with water, limiting their range.