Electric vehicles (EVs) use one or more electric or traction motors for propulsion and include road, rail, aircraft, spacecraft, above water, and underwater vehicles. EVs are powered by either electricity contained within the vehicle itself, or from externally supplied power sources. EVs may be equipped with batteries, solar panels, fuel cells, or electric generators for converting fuel into electricity.
EVs generally consist of a basic series of components to function including, but not limited to, a battery, charge port, DC/DC converter, electric traction motor, onboard charger, power electronics controller, thermal cooling system, traction battery pack, and an electric transmission.
The original idea for creating an electric vehicle is debated, but is commonly attributed to a set of independent innovators located in the United States, the Netherlands, and Hungary during the years of 1828-1835. When the first ideas for creating battery powered electric vehicles were emerging in Europe and the United States horse and buggies were the primary mode of transportation. The first electric vehicle was an electric carriage made by a British inventor named Robert Anderson around the year 1832. The vehicle was unreliable and not fit for any practical uses beyond a proof of concept.
Not much progress developing electric vehicle technology occurred from 1832 until the second half of the 19th century when French and English inventors began creating the first practical electric road vehicles. William Morrison, a chemist living in Des Moines, Iowa, is credited for creating the first successful electric vehicle in the United States. The vehicle held 6 passengers and had a top speed of 14 miles per hour. Morrisons electric vehicle sparked a growing interest in electric vehicle production leading to several automakers in the United States beginning to make their own electric vehicles. A few years after Morrisons electric vehicle launched New York City had a fleet of electric taxi cabs consisting of more than 60 vehicles.
Electric vehicles were most popular in cities, and were outselling gasoline powered vehicles, due to their ability to be re-charged relatively cheaply and the ability to reach a desired destination within city limits without needing to recharge compared to suburban or country dwelling electric vehicle owners. Electric vehicles were also easier and more environmentally friendly to drive compared with the first initial gasoline powered vehicles that required drivers to change gears, start with a hand crank, and produced a lot of noise and pollution. By 1900 approximately a third of all vehicles on the road worldwide were electric, and electric car sales continued to grow over the next decade until Henry Ford began mass producing the gasoline powered Ford Model T in 1908.
A Brief History and Evolution of Electric Cars
July 1, 2020
The History of the Electric Car