The History Of Electric Cars We Know Today

The History Of Electric Cars We Know Today

Would you believe it if you heard that the first electric vehicle appeared in the mid-19th century? Neither would we, but as sources say, the first-ever electric vehicle was made around the 1830s and there are a few names that come up when it comes to the first electric vehicle. Some sources say that the first electric vehicle was the invention of Anyos Jedlik in 1828, even though Robert Anderson and Sibrandus Stratingh are mentioned as the inventors of the first electric vehicle.

Just a few years later, in 1837, the electric locomotive was invented by a man named Robert Davidson. It was running on galvanic batteries and could pull 6-ton cargo and its 7-ton weight for 1.5 miles! It was a very impressive discovery at the time! Unfortunately, it was never commercialized because of its limited power and because the railway workers destroyed it from fear of losing their job because of it.

The First Electric Car That Used Rechargeable Batteries

Rechargeable batteries that could be used in electric cars with enough storage capacity were invented in 1859. The man named Gaston Plante invented the first lead-acid batteries that were used in the electric cars and the technology was drastically improved in 1881 making the power capacity much bigger than before.

There were many advantages to electric cars at the time compared to gasoline-fueled cars. The first advantage and most important one is that the electric cars didn’t vibrate, weren’t as noisy and didn’t leave unbearing smells like gasoline cars. They were much easier to start and drive as well.

In 1912, almost 40% of all cars in the US were power by electricity! A bit more was powered by steam and only about 20% of all cars were powered by gasoline. The United States were the country that had the biggest acceptance of electric cars. The biggest number of electric vehicles in the US were bought in 1910!

Electric Cars Quickly Lost Their Massive Popularity

Just 10 years after electric cars experienced their peak in sales, they started losing popularity. This is because of improved infrastructure, and the limited range and low speeds of electric cars weren’t enough to satisfy drivers needs. In just a couple of years, gasoline cars were significantly improved and they weren’t as loud as before, they didn’t vibrate as much, and because Henry Ford initiated mass production, the electric cars were twice as expensive as the gasoline competitors.

It Took More Than 50 Years To Make A Significant Improvement To Electric Cars

It was only in the 1970s when the idea of commercializing electric vehicles came up again. Unfortunately, most of the efforts didn’t improve electric cars enough to make them road-worthy because of their low speeds and very limited range.

The biggest discovery was made in the 1980s when the sammsung lithium-ion batteries were invented by John Goodenough, Rachid Yazami and Akira Yoshino. The batteries were commercialized by Sony and Asahi Kasei in 1991. The same type of batteries, although improved significantly are used today in electric cars capable of long-distance travel.

Almost a hundred years after the electric vehicles became popular was required to improve electric cars enough to commercialize them. Unfortunately, the entire world had to experience a huge ecological crisis to have a company do a lot of R&D and make electric vehicles affordable with a good speed and range. The company that’s currently considered the pioneer in electric cars is Tesla. They started with the Tesla Roadster that was first delivered to buyers in 2008. It was the first electric supercar and Tesla have made such a huge success with it that in just a few years, they developed 4 new models of electric vehicles!

John Norwood
John Norwood is best known as a technology journalist, currently at Ziddu where he focuses on tech startups, companies, and products.