Electric Car History & A brief history of electric cars

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Electric Car History

1888 Rover

Electric car history Karl Benz’s infamous tricycle: somewhere between and 1839, Scottish inventor Anderson built a very electric carriage, whilst Thomas Davenport built an road vehicle in 1842.

The vehicles were experimental — the rechargeable batteries not available until later in the Century, with the first available rechargeable batteries were suitable for electric becoming available in 1881.

was made when the first electric car was built in London in by Thomas Parker — a inventor who was responsible for electrifying the Underground. By 1890, there a handful of electric car makers the world.

Early electric quickly established a reputation for reliability and distance that it travel: in comparison, the internal engine was noisy, smelly and and had limited power. They had to be cranked to start them, was dangerous and led to many injuries and efficiency was poor — a problem when fuel was not available.

The first world speed record was set in an electric on the 18th December, 1898, Gaston de Chasseloup-Laubat set the record in a automobile, powered by alkaline reaching a top speed of 39.245mph in Acheres Park, near Four months later, Jenatzy drove another car — Le Jamais Contende to a new world record, reaching (105.264km/h).

Electric Car History — Century

By the turn of the 20th electric cars were gasoline cars. In New York, and London, electric taxis had and electric cars were because they were did not smell, vibrate or make and they were easy to

At the turn of the century, all cars ‘horseless carriages’ and they used as direct replacements for the and cart: short journeys, no more than a few miles at Roads out of town were more than mud tracks: if you to travel further afield, you the train. In such an environment, it is no that electric cars popular.

Electric cars to be exceptionally reliable, too: in an era an engine needed to be rebuilt 500 miles, electric cars continue for the whole of their lives with very maintenance. There was at least one of an electric taxi in London covered 180,000 miles a period of ten years — an of distance at that time.

In electric cars continued to be until the outbreak of the First War in 1914. By the time the war had finished in gasoline cars were more reliable, petroleum was cheaper and more easily and thanks to Henry Ford’s new production techniques, gasoline were far cheaper to buy than cars. Service stations and pumps were appearing, it easier to buy fuel.

New roads linking one town to were being built longer distance travelling. It was the end of an the electric car was dead and the combustion was king.

Electric vehicles did not disappear, however. In the United electric delivery vans had a niche with home companies: electric delivery found favour with like Harrods, and with delivery companies (‘milk By the early 1960s, over electric delivery vans in daily use in the United Kingdom. The home delivery market into decline in the 1970s and and the electric commercial vehicle collapsed. Today, there are around 12,000 ‘milk on the roads.

A significant number of vans were originally in the 1960s or 1970s, and very few are than 20 years old — a to the longevity of these electric

The oil crisis in the early 1970s saw planning a new era for electric cars. General Motors and AMC all produced a of concepts and prototypes, whilst companies such as Sebring-Vanguard and Corp in the United States, and in Europe produced and sold two-seater electric city a number of which are still in use and have an enthusiastic following their owners.

From that time however, the electric car quietly off the scene. In Europe, Fiat and both built a handful of in the 1980s, but the cost was too high and was little or no public interest in petrol was comparatively cheap and seemed no incentive to change.

in electric cars only in the mid-1990s, when concerns the environment and climate change a factor.

In the California, the California Air Board passed a ruling the Low Emission Vehicle Program in which was enacted by the Californian to promote the use of zero emission The law stated that 2% of all new vehicles in California were to be zero vehicles by 1998, rising to 10% of all new by 2003.

Across America, car developed new electric vehicles in to comply with the new law. Motors launched the EV1 electric Ford launched an electric of its Explorer SUV and bought TH!NK, a electric car manufacturer, Chrysler electric car maker GEM, produced an electric RAV-4 Honda produced a small car.

All the manufacturers offered cars to the public through schemes rather than purchase. Technical problems the EV1 and whilst owners were about their new cars, leasing costs meant were not good sellers: sold in tiny numbers.

Changes to the Low Emission Vehicle meant that manufacturers did not to sell electric vehicles in and at the end of their leases, most of the were taken back by the and many of them were

In Europe, Peugeot, Citroen and started building electric of their small city The Renault soon fell by the but Peugeot and Citroen manufactured a of small commercial vehicles and cars. Public interest was low, however, and sales below expectation.

First of the city cars ceased in followed by the small electric vans in 2006 — at the exact time when a in interest in electric vehicles showing an upturn in sales.

— Reva (G-Wiz)

In a tiny and unheard of new company was to launch its new electric city Called ‘Reva’, the new car had quirky could seat two adults and two children, and had a range of around 40 and a top speed of 40mph.

The car sold in in small numbers for the first few Then, in mid-2003, a British called GoinGreen imported a few and branded them as ‘G-Wiz’.

The original idea of renting out to commuters in Leeds floundered and the moved to London in 2004.

At the time, London was reeling a new congestion charge tax: if you to drive in London during the you had to pay a £5 ( 8) fee. Electric were exempt from the new

The first G-Wiz’s appeared in early in 2004. Taking by surprise, the car was an instant hit. car charging points were in car parks and on streets, and London recognised as the ‘Electric Car Capital’ of the

Electric car history — warming and pollution

Meanwhile, the of global warming was increasing and and politicians were increasingly pollution from transportation as a issue to be tackled.

Increasingly, the between governments and car makers around making cars and more fuel efficient from the middle of the decade, cars came up on the agenda and more often. Car makers work on electric car research and showing electric car concepts at shows.

Meanwhile, smaller were launching new electric NEVs were slowly momentum in the United States, electric quadricycles were popular in London, Paris and

The Tesla electric sports originally announced in 2007, a huge amount of attention for cars. Here was a compact, two seat sports car that and drove like a Ferrari and had a of hundreds of miles. Public was growing and it wasn’t long Tesla’s order books full.

History — Cars today

By 2010, mainstream were joining the party. was first with the i-MiEV a four seat, four city car now available in Japan and the Kingdom. Ford and Nissan cars being launched 2010, whilst most have an EV under development for in the next two years.

Incredibly, the of electric cars stretches around 175 years. Yet only now can it be that ‘the car of tomorrow’ has arrived.

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