The history of electric vehicles
Updated: Jan 24
The history of electric vehicles (EVs) can be traced back to the early 19th century, when inventors and engineers began experimenting with electric power as a means of propulsion. The development of EVs was spurred on by a number of factors, including the increasing scarcity of fossil fuels, concerns about air pollution and global warming, and advances in technology that made electric power a more viable option for transportation.
One of the earliest forms of electric vehicles was the "Rochdale" , built by Thomas Parker in 1884, which used a electric motor powered by non-rechargeable batteries. These early EVs had a number of limitations, including a short range and a lack of power, which made them impractical for most people.
In the early 20th century, improvements in battery technology and the development of the internal combustion engine led to a decline in the popularity of EVs. However, the oil crisis of the 1970s and increasing concerns about air pollution and global warming brought new attention to the potential of EVs as a cleaner, more sustainable form of transportation.
In the 1990s and 2000s, major car manufacturers such as General Motors, Toyota, and Nissan began investing in the development of electric vehicles. The most significant of these was the launch of the Toyota Prius, the world's first mass-produced hybrid electric vehicle (HEV), in 1997. The Nissan leaf was also a major breakthrough, it was the first mass-produced fully electric vehicle (EV) which went on sale in 2010.
Over the last decade, significant advancements in battery technology have led to significant improvements in the range, performance and affordability of EVs. As a result, the adoption of EVs has been accelerating rapidly, with sales increasing each year. According to the International Energy Agency, the global stock of EVs reached 7.2 million units in 2018, an increase of 63% from the previous year.
The future of EVs looks bright, with many countries and car manufacturers committing to the production of electric vehicles. The increasing availability of charging infrastructure, government incentives for EV purchases, and continued advancements in technology are all expected to drive the adoption of EVs in the coming years.
Overall, Electric vehicles have come a long way from their early beginnings. With technology and infrastructure continuing to improve, and governments around the world pushing for greater adoption, EVs are poised to play an increasingly important role in the transportation landscape of the future.