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Electric Car History Timeline

Tesla Model XTesla CEO Elon Musk demonstrates the falcon wing doors on the new Tesla Model X Crossover SUV during a launch event on September 29, 2015 in Fremont, California. After several production delays, Elon Musk officially launched the much anticipated Tesla Model X Crossover SUV.Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

The potential of electric cars is greater now than ever before.

Traditional automakers including General Motors, Volkswagen, Daimler AG, and others are all investing heavily in electric vehicles. And Tesla, of course, has built an entire business on battery-powered cars.

But electric automobiles are nothing new. They actually have a rich history in the US and, at one point, were even the dominant type of car.

Here’s a look at how battery-powered cars evolved over time.

 The electric car burst onto the scene in the late 1800s and early 1900s.
The electric car burst onto the scene in the late 1800s and early 1900s.

Photo of Thomas Edison with an electric car in 1913.National Museum of American History

In 1899 and 1900, electric vehicles outsold all other types of cars. In fact, 28 percent of all 4,192 cars produced in the US in 1900 were electric, according to the American Census. And the total value of electric cars sold was more than gasoline and steam powered cars combined that year.

 

It even had key advantages over gasoline- and steam-powered cars in the early 1900s. Yes, that’s right — cars once ran on steam.

It even had key advantages over gasoline- and steam-powered cars in the early 1900s. Yes, that's right — cars once ran on steam.

1906 Wood’s Queen Victoria Electric Car.Wikimedia Commons/ Cycle and Automobile Trade Journal)

While the early electric cars were basically horseless carriages powered by batteries, they did have some perks.

For one, they didn’t have the smell, noise, or vibration that steam or gasoline cars had. The were also a lot easier to operate. Gasoline cars had to be manually cranked to start, and the vehicles required the driver to change gears while driving, which was very difficult.

Steam-powered cars didn’t require manual gear shifting, but they could take a while to start and had less range than electric cars.

It wasn’t until the 1960s and 1970s that interest in electric cars began to grow again.

It wasn't until the 1960s and 1970s that interest in electric cars began to grow again.

Participants at the First Symposium on Low Pollution Power Systems Development looking over the Esb “Sundancers”, an Experimental Electric Car in 1973.Wikimedia Commons/Frank Lodge

Much like today, concerns over pollution were partly responsible for the renewed interest in developing the technology for electric cars.

In 1970, the Clean Air Act was established, which required states to take control of their air quality and meet certain standards by deadlines. The OPEC oil embargo of 1973, which skyrocketed gasoline prices, also sparked interest in alternatives to fueled vehicles.

And by 1976 Congress took action and passed the Electric and Hybrid Vehicle Research, Development, and Demonstration Act, which authorized the Energy Department to support research and development in electric and hybrid vehicles.

Two companies led the way during the 1970s. The first was Sebring-Vanguard, which produced over 2,000 “CitiCars.”

Two companies led the way during the 1970s. The first was Sebring-Vanguard, which produced over 2,000 "CitiCars."

In this 1974 file photo, this pyramid-shaped two passenger vehicle is a Sebring Vanguard, an electric car manufactured in Sebring, Fla.AP/File

These miniature commuter cars had a top speed of 44 mph, a normal cruise speed of 38 mph, and a range of 50 to 60 miles.

The Citicar and its variants remained the most-produced American electric car until 2011, when the Tesla Roadster surpassed it.

The other was Elcar Corporation.

The other was Elcar Corporation.

One of the first Elcar vehicles.Flickr/Alden Jewell

The Elcar, also known as the Zagato Zele, was a small electric car produced by the Italian company Zagato. However, it was sold in the US by the Elcar Corporation.

The tiny vehicle could reach a speed of 45 mph, has a range of 60 miles when fully charged, and cost between $4,000 and $4,500.

Electric cars weren’t just a US phenomenon, though. Automakers around the world began investing more in the technology. BMW debuted its first electric car at the 1972 Summer Olympics.

Electric cars weren't just a US phenomenon, though. Automakers around the world began investing more in the technology. BMW debuted its first electric car at the 1972 Summer Olympics.

BMW’s electric car, the 1602 E, had a range of 37 miles.YouTube/BMW

BMW’s 1602 E was developed in 1972 and was showcased at the Summer Olympics that year.

Twelve lead-acid starter batteries powered the vehicle, which featured a 42-horsepower electric motor. It could reach a top speed of 62 mph and had a range of 37 miles.

Although Olympics organizers used the 1602 E during the Munich games, the vehicle never went into production.

Many more electric cars debuted in the 1970s, but not many sold.

Many more electric cars debuted in the 1970s, but not many sold.

RT1 electric car prototype in Seattle, Washington around 1970.Flickr/Seattle Municipal Archives

Limitations in range and speed — and style — kept electric cars from being adopted on a mass scale, and their popularity declined in the 1980s.

By the 1990s, emissions regulations once again pushed automakers to revisit electric vehicles.

By the 1990s, emissions regulations once again pushed automakers to revisit electric vehicles.

Workers at a General Motors plant in 1996 install the electric motor and drive train in one of the new electric vehicles.AP Photos/ Dale Atkins

The 1990 Clean Air Act Amendment and the 1992 Energy Policy Act helped spur investment again in electric vehicles.

The California Air Resources Board also passed new regulations that required automakers to make and sell a zero-emissions vehicle in order for them to market their cars in the state.

 

The most famous, or infamous, example from this period was GM’s EV1, which was leased through Saturn dealerships.

The most famous, or infamous, example from this period was GM's EV1, which was leased through Saturn dealerships.

GM’s EV1 had an impressive range, but was not a profitable car for the company.The EV-1. Rick Rowen, Creative Commons.

Beginning in 1996, GM produced 1,117 units of its EV1. The car was only available to people in California, Arizona, and Georgia and it could not be bought, only leased.

The car boasted a range of about 100 miles on a single charge and could go from zero to 60 in just seven seconds.

While consumers responded positively to the EV1, it wasn’t a profitable business for GM and the company decided to recall all of the vehicles once leases had expired. The company then destroyed most of the vehicles, only keeping 40 models to donate to museums and other institutions.

The rise of the Toyota Prius also helped grow interest in fuel-efficient cars.

The rise of the Toyota Prius also helped grow interest in fuel-efficient cars.

Toyota’s Prius quickly became a popular car.Toyota

The Prius was first produced in Japan in 1997, but then it became available worldwide in 2000.

The Prius was one of the first mass-produced hybrid-electric vehicles, and it quickly became a statement car.

In the first year of its global launch, the company sold some 50,000 Prius vehicles worldwide.

By January 2017, Toyota had sold more than 10 million hybrid vehicles — more than 6 million of which were in the Prius family.

And in 2006, news of Tesla’s plans for a battery powered car with a range of 200 miles per charge helped raise the profile of electric vehicles.

And in 2006, news of Tesla's plans for a battery powered car with a range of 200 miles per charge helped raise the profile of electric vehicles.

AP Photo/Remy de la Mauviniere

By 2011, the Tesla had launched its Roadster. But while the car had a range of over 240 miles per charge, it cost more than $100,000.

In 2010, Nissan began delivering its all-electric Leaf in the US.

In 2010, Nissan began delivering its all-electric Leaf in the US.

Nissan’s Leaf was the most popular electric car until Tesla’s Model S came along.Nissan

Nissan’s Leaf has a range of 100 miles per charge and a more budget-conscious price of around $30,000.

The car is currently the bestselling electric highway-capable vehicle in the world. As of December of 2016, Nissan has sold more than 250,000 Leafs worldwide.

In June 2012, Tesla began delivery of its Model S, its second long-range electric car.

In June 2012, Tesla began delivery of its Model S, its second long-range electric car.

ASSOCIATED PRESS

Tesla’s first performance Model S, which had an 85-kilowatt hour battery, had an official EPA range of 265 miles per charge.

The company originally intended to deliver the Model S in 2011. However, the company didn’t begin deliveries until late mid-2012.

Tesla delivered the Model S to the first customers at an event at the Tesla factory in Fremont, California on June 22, 2012.

In October 2016, GM made a big push into the electric-car space with the launch of its Chevy Bolt, an all-electric car with a range of more than 200 miles per charge.

In October 2016, GM made a big push into the electric-car space with the launch of its Chevy Bolt, an all-electric car with a range of more than 200 miles per charge.

GM’s Chevy Bolt was the first mass-market EV with a range exceeding 200 miles per charge.Chevrolet

While GM has a long history with electric cars, the Bolt is its first all-electric car with a range of more than 200 miles.

The Chevy Bolt can go 238 miles between “fill-ups” and costs about $30,000, after a $7,500 federal tax credit. Top speed is 91 mph.

While charging, the car gains about 25 miles in range every hour. The car can fully charge in nine hours with a 240-volt unit.

 

Looking forward, Tesla has big plans to produce its first mass-market car, called the Model 3, by the end of this year.

Looking forward, Tesla has big plans to produce its first mass-market car, called the Model 3, by the end of this year.

Tesla’s Model 3 will compete with the Chevy Bolt.YouTube/Motor Trend

While Tesla has thus far focused on selling luxury high-end vehicles, it plans to begin producing its first budget electric car in 2017.

The Model 3 will feature a range of more than 200 miles and will price at $35,000 before tax incentives.

The company also plans on eventually launching an affordable crossover, dubbed the Model Y, and an electric truck.

 

In response, traditional automakers like Ford, Mercedes-Benz, and Volkswagen are ramping up investment in the space.

In response, traditional automakers like Ford, Mercedes-Benz, and Volkswagen are ramping up investment in the space.

Volkswagen aims to make a production version of its all-electric ID concept car by 2020.AP/Michel Euler

During the next few years, we will see a number of electric cars come to market from older automakers.

Ford announced in January that it aims to offer 13 new electrified vehicles, including hybrids, within the next five years. One of the new vehicles it plans to launch will be a fully electric SUV with a range of at least 300 miles per charge.

Mercedes and Volvo both plan to launch an all-electric car in 2019, and Volkswagen has said it aims to have a production version of its all-electric ID Concept SUV ready by 2020.

Here’s a look at more electric cars coming by 2021.

This article is from Business Insider

Beijing to Replace All Taxis with Electric Vehicles


This is news very near and dear to my heart and lungs. Reducing toxic air pollution in urban environments is crucial to improving public health. If you live in an urban city, you may or may not be familiar with AQI, the air quality index. This measures the amount of ground-level ozone, particulates, sulfur dioxide, carbon monoxide and nitrogen dioxide in the air. Depending on where you live, the AQI will exclude some of these measures. But ground level inhaled particulate matter and other toxins spewed from internal combustion vehicles have adverse affects on local lives, including asthma, bronchitis, sinus infections, cancer, and death. Especially in Asia, which has developed so much industrially and socioeconomically, pollution is a very big, very visible problem. Many months of the year, citizens are encouraged to wear face masks, and you can forget about exercising outside unprotected. So it is great to see China taking action against localized deadly pollution.

China will begin to replace all taxis in Beijing with electric vehicles. All new replacement models for decommissioned taxis will have to be electric starting in 2017. Hopefully, China will make a serious push to lower their toxic emissions, because as of right now, the smog can reach as far as the west coast of the United States, thanks to prevailing wind patterns. But the most harmful pollutants are happening on the streets, as localized emissions are trapped between buildings and hover on the sidewalks and windows where people live, work, and play. This type of pollution is usually not expressed by AQI indexes because of where the monitors are set up, so the harmful effects are much worse than indicated.  Electric vehicles are the best way to reduce localized air pollution in urban environments.

Upcoming electric cars that will conquer the market this year

In the past 5 years we’ve seen an increase in electric car manufacturing. Many international developers strongly believe that the future of the auto industry will depend on eco-friendly vehicles. Going green is no longer a luxury, and believe it or not, recent models of electric cars are no longer over-priced. In fact, some have pretty amazing built-ins and in-car technicals to surpass the efficiency and performance of conventional vehicles that run on gas. This year, the industry has spiked in eco-friendly cars; starting from the simplest all the way to the most groundbreaking. Here’s a quick guide with 5 “green” cars that will most like win you over.

ioniq

Hyundai IONIQ

Toyota Prius, it’s time for you to move over! IONIQ is here to take your spot. Even though it’s too early to tell whether or not Hyundai’s IONIQ model will be better than the Prius, rumor has it that it will be a fair competitor. The hybrid auto market is on the roll, and as new technologies emerge, it’s tough for manufacturers to stay on top. Hyundai has always been an ambitious car maker, and even though we can’t know for sure how advanced and powerful IONIQ will be, we can state that the plug-in hybrid will create some sort of hype. Rumor has it that the new model will deliver an incredible driving experience; apparently, some of the built-in features will provide a driving experience no other eco vehicle is currently offering.

Nissan Leaf

Nissan’s Leaf model is the most popular type of electric car in the world. Nearly 200,000 models have been sold since the release. The manufacturers are still making upgrades, and this year’s variant looks and feels better than ever. The latest Leaf comes with a 30 kWh battery, which is enough to drive for 155 miles. Why are casual driver so in love with this electric vehicle? First, because it is affordable – $18,000 on average – on average, and second because it looks nice both on the inside and on the outside. Nissan Leaf is comfortable, relaxing to drive and quiet. It is an electric pioneer that drivers are quite fond of!

Tesla Model X

There’s something about Tesla that keeps us interested. The company’s recent Model X is quite the beauty. It can easily get to 60 mph in roughly 3.2 seconds, not to mention that it looks pretty awesome too. Some say that Tesla’s Model X will be the best electric car of the year. It features enough room to fit up to 7 individuals, and it completely redefined in-car design. Sleek, modern and high-tech on the inside, Model X has certainly piqued our interest. The manufacturers argue that it is also the fastest electric car in the world, as well as the most capable utility vehicles created thus far. Safety is Model X’s biggest trump card. Considering it packs floor-mounted battery meant to lower its gravity center, the risk of rolling is extremely low.

tesla model x

Chevrolet Bolt

Chevy Bolt may not benefit from Tesla’s technology, but it’s still an electric vehicle with great potential. In fact, rumor has it that the most is the most anticipated of the year. The model will be hitting the market pretty soon, and many buyers are excited to test it out especially because it comes at an affordable cost – on average, $30,000. The fully electric hatchback offers seating for 5 people, thus making it ideal for small families. The engine can handle a mileage of 200, and the quick charging (30 minutes for 90 miles) will surely appeal to potential customers.

BMW i3

BMW’s i3 model is a remarkable electric hatchback. Featuring a rather unusual exterior built, we cannot help but wonder who thought of the design. The structure is made of carbon fiber, and as for the electric powertrain, the i3 packs legendary driving dynamics. Due to a low gravity center, the cars can easily go from 0 to 60mph in roughly 6.5 seconds. In terms of charging, this urban beauty doesn’t take longer than 3 hours to reach its full potential.

bmwi3

Numerous other electric cars are preparing to enter the market. Some see promising, whereas others are just pure science fiction. We still hope for Porsche’s Mission E to emerge so that Tesla can have some real competition.

By Christopher Austin and Design911.co.uk!

 

How Manufacturers Can Make A More Convincing Case For Electric Cars

There’s no denying that one of the most exciting types of vehicles you can buy today are electric cars. From the unique Renault Twizy to the luxurious Tesla Model S, there’s a car for everyone.

 

You would think that there’d be a huge take-up of electric cars. Especially given their environmental benefits. But, sales of EVs have yet to compete with those of conventional vehicles.

 

So, is there anything that electric car manufacturers can do to offer a more convincing case? Well, it turns out there is, and some of the following ideas are already in development:

Image Credit

 

Extend the range on a full charge

 

One of the biggest criticisms EV manufacturers face is the limited range offered. Many electric cars can only achieve a realistic range of just 100 miles before needing a charge.

 

Some vehicles, such as the Tesla I mentioned a moment ago, offer more than three times that amount. But, for most EVs, the capacity isn’t available. There are two reasons that stand in the way: technology and cost.

 

The former is something that car makers are working on as I type this. But, the main issue is with the latter reason: the cost. You can’t increase battery capacity without passing on the cost of extra parts. And that means fewer motorists will buy EVs.

 

Car makers need to increase battery capacity. And they need to do so without driving up the cost of buying their vehicles.

 

Wireless charging

 

Another bugbear that electric vehicles must contend with is charging. Sure, you can have a dedicated charging point installed at your home. And you can use one of the many public ones available in most areas.

 

But, that means you have to wait while your car is getting a charge before you can continue your journey. The answer to that conundrum, of course, is wireless charging!

 

In England, trials are due to start of under-road charging for electric vehicles. That’s thanks to a five-year, £500-million project. In South Korea, wireless charging is already available – albeit for the country’s electric buses.

 

If wireless or “inductive” charging were available, it would get rid of “range anxiety.” And I can tell you, I’d be the first person to sell my car with AutoTrader and get a new electric vehicle. I’d also encourage the rest of my family to do the same!

 

Better prices

 

The main hurdle with electric cars is that some of them are out of people’s reach. They cost more to buy than conventional petrol and diesel alternatives. That’s because the technology costs car makers more money to use. And that means those extra costs get passed onto you, the consumer.

 

Car makers and their suppliers need to reach better deals to help lower the cost of electric vehicles. There is only so much in the way of fossil fuels that we can use on Earth!


I hope that you’ve enjoyed reading today’s blog post. Do share with us your thoughts on the subject, and feel free to share a link to the article on your social media pages. See you soon!

Why You Need to Buy An Electric Car


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When you’re shopping around for your next car, you should give serious thought to going electric. Electric cars are the greener healthier alternative to more regular motors. They also look set to shape the future of automobiles. Many manufacturers are slowly beginning to integrate hybrid models into their releases. And there’s likely to come a time in the future when electric cars will reign supreme.

Here are some of the main reasons why you want to think about getting yourself an electric car:

Cheaper

One of the most compelling reasons you should buy an electric car is because they’re much cheaper than petrol powered cars. Okay, to buy they might cost a similar amount, but the running costs will work out to be much less. Because electric cars don’t run on petrol, they cost a lot less to operate. To run 100 miles on electricity is much less expensive than doing the same journey with petrol. Another major advantage is that you won’t have to deal with the issue of rising fuel costs. Each year it seems like the cost of petrol is on the rise, hitting drivers in the wallet. But if you have an electric car you sidestep this issue altogether, and you end up paying the same price all the time.

Look to the Future

If you’ve given any thought to buying an electric car the time to do it would be now. They will only increase in popularity. And in the future there may come a time when the only cars we drive are electric cars. A time when you’ll be able to visit an automotive retail centre and drive away behind the wheel of an electric car. With the news this month that Apple has started work on an electric car the future looks bright. It won’t be long before electric vehicles become the more popular choice, and their prices climb. Make sure you get one now to prepare yourself for the future of automotive travel.

Less Maintenance

When you have a petrol powered car, one of the biggest pains is the constant servicing and maintenance that’s needed. Well, with electric cars you can wave this problem goodbye. They are cheap and easy to maintain. Our friends at Inchcape Toyota clarified that there are fewer moving parts than on cars powered by gasoline and there aren’t problems with fiddly internal issues preventing the car from working. As long as the battery gets plugged in on charge you should have no issues running the car. Think about how great it would be to not have to make that journey to the service garage every few weeks.

Eco-Friendly

Electric cars are much more environmentally conscious than their petrol powered counterparts. These days it’s important that we all to steps to be a little more green. Looking after planet Earth is something that is high on most people’s agendas, and it should be high on yours. An electric car produces none of those harmful CO2 emissions that play havoc with the ozone layer. As such you don’t have to worry about the harmful gasses you’re pumping into the atmosphere. Sure, the electricity must come from somewhere, but it will be a much less harmful source than petrol.

Buying Regular vs Buying Electric

Electric cars have emerged on the market in recent years and are trying to combat regular cars for supremacy. Many see electric cars as better than regular ones because they’re more eco-friendly. Others see them as clumsy and limited.

The battle is sure to rage on for years. People have become more environmentally conscious. But cars are a practical necessity. For this reason, there is competition between the two. One thing is for sure; electric cars are going to become more prominent in the future.

Let’s compare regular cars with electric models:

Regular

More Choice

The most obvious difference between regular cars and electric cars is that there is more choice with regular cars. Electric cars are still somewhat new to the marketplace, so they’re more difficult to get ahold of. Wherever you are, you’ll have no problem finding regular cars. You could be looking to find cars near Bristol, Manchester or Swansea, and you’d have a wealth of choices.

Easier Maintenance

Regular cars are also easier to maintain. They’ve been around for a lot longer, so mechanics and experts know them inside out. Whatever the problem is with your car someone will be able to identify and fix it without too much trouble. There also won’t be so many difficulties getting hold of parts to replace on regular models. Electric cars are still something of an unknown quantity. Because of this they’re more difficult to maintain, and parts are more difficult to get hold of if needed.

Don’t Have to Charge

One of the advantages of having a regular car is that you don’t need to charge it. Electric cars can run for around 100 miles before they need charging again. This process takes quite a long time. Regular cars can last hundreds of miles on one tank of fuel. And if you run low you can always pull into a petrol station and fill up with ease.

 

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Electric

Eco-Friendly

Electric cars are a lot more environmentally sound than their petrol-powered counterparts. These days it’s important to look after the environment. Electric cars are one of the next steps in this process. They don’t release the harmful CO2 emissions that regular cars do. Because they’re eco-friendly electric cars look set to become the future of automotive technology. We’re seeing this start now with many manufacturers introducing hybrid models.

No Fuel Costs

The major advantage of having an electric car is that you don’t have to spend money on fuel. The price is petrol is expensive and seems to be on the rise each year. With an electric car, you can save yourself heaps of cash by not needing to worry about filling up on petrol. You just need to charge your car, and you’re good to go. This is also more convenient as it benefits you in other ways such as not having to queue in the petrol station.

Less Maintenance

Though they can be more difficult to maintain, electric cars will need much less maintenance than regular cars. For a start, some regular cars only run on certain types of petrol and react badly to others. You don’t have to worry about this issue with electric cars. They also contain fewer parts and as such need a lot less maintenance. For instance, you’ll never have to worry about oil changes with an electric car.