The environmental damage caused by hydrocarbon-fuel vehicles urge people to switch to cleaner methods of transportation like electric vehicles. Electric vehicle is not a 21st century invention. Instead they were in use from the mid 19th century. The entry of vehicles powered by fossil fuels that came at a lower cost led to electric vehicles failing to survive the competition.
In this session, we are exploring the history of electric vehicles.
Less is known about the invention and first inventors of electric vehicles. Throughout the mid 19th century, several inventors came up with various versions of electric vehicles. Ányos Jedlik, in 1828 invented a small car powered by an electric motor he made. Thomas Davenport, a blacksmith at Vermont built a similar model in 1834 that operated in a short electrified track.
It was in 1837, the first electric locomotive was created by Robert Davidson, a chemist from Scotland. The power source of the locomotive was galvanic cells and in the later years Davidson built Galvani, a larger locomotive.
First Practical Electric Cars
Electric vehicles powered by rechargeable batteries were introduced only in 1859, after the invention of lead acid battery. The initial design of the battery made by Gaston Planté, a French scientist was improved in 1881, contributing to the battery capacity and encouraging its industrial production.
The first electric vehicle that carried humans was tested in 1881 in Paris By French inventor Gustave Trouvé . He improved the efficiency of an electric motor developed by Siemens and fitted it on a tricycle.
Prior to the invention of internal combustion engines, electric vehicles were the leaders in the automobile industry as they had appreciable speed and range when compared to the vehicles of that time. Electric trains were widely used transport coal from coal mines.
The first electric car in the US made in the 1890-91 period could carry six passengers and could attain speeds up to 23 kilometers per hour. It was only after the invention of electric tricycles in 1895 that US consumers began to show interest in electric cars.
The period between 1890 and 1900 is referred to as the golden age of electric vehicles, with taxis powered by electricity being easily available by the end of 19th century. The entry of internal combustion engine vehicles led to the decline of electric vehicles by 1920.
Advancements in electric vehicle technology and increasing number of environmental issues they cause are increasing the demand for best electric vehicles.