These days, car makers are offering more and more alternative fuel versions of their popular models, including full battery, electrics hybrids and plug ins. Consumers today have a lot more alternative options than ever before, but believe it or not. Electric cars arent a modern phenomenon. Many people assume that the honda insight and toyota prius were the first electric cars to hit the us market in the 1990s, its true to some extent and that those were the first modern electric cars. But actually the electric car had its start way longer than that. In fact, it was some 200 years ago long before the internal combustion engine car. So what happened to the early electric car who killed it in its infancy and how did the electric target revived in our modern era? Not many people know this, but henry ford and thomas edison actually tried to build an electric car together, but they failed and didnt just fail, but they killed. The electric car lets rewind a bit. In 1832, robert anderson of scotland made the first crude electric car. It was a motorized carriage, but it wasnt really practical, because the battery wasnt rechargeable not long after another scotsman named robert davidson built an electric locomotive. He called it. The galvani, the prototype, could tow six tons, the top speed of four miles an hour in a driving range of one and a half miles, but again the battery wasnt rechargeable so theyd have to replace it with new ones.

It might not seem impressive by our standards today, but back then. That was an amazing feat. In fact, it intimidated railway workers who tended steam engines. This was now their competition and they felt their jobs would soon be on the line. They thought it was a devil machine. The rechargeable battery became viable in 1859, but it wouldnt be another 30 years before a successful electric car would come out. This was done by a scotland born american named william morrison. This was in des moines iowa. He developed the first successful ev in the u.s. Well, actually it was a little more than an electrified wagon, not much different than an innovative self propelled carriage. It was a front wheel, drive vehicle that output four horsepower with a maximum speed of 20 miles an hour. It had 24 battery cells and you had to recharge it every 50 miles, but it was a sensation on its day and it sparked a lot of interest in its future as a potential transportation. Op electric cars started gaining popularity by 1899.. Those who could afford one preferred it over the gasoline powered car in the steam powered car thats, because the electric car was quiet, easy to drive and didnt emit smelly fumes or pollutant its. For those reasons that city folks, especially women, preferred the electric car did. You know that by the turn of the century, the electric car made up to 33 percent of all cars on the american road.

In fact, there was a nice variety and range of ev options available. Many businessmen took notice too. They saw the money behind the high demand and electric cars and tried to capitalize in any way form or fashion that they could. Meanwhile, on the other side of the globe, ferdinand porsche developed his loner porsche mixtape. This was the worlds very first hybrid electric cars. It was powered by electricity stored in a battery and a gasoline engine that was in 1901. The same year, william mckinley became the first u.s president to ride an electric vehicle, but sadly it was under the most unfortunate circumstances. He was touring in buffalo new york when an assassin shot him mckinley was rushed to the hospital by an electric ambulance. He actually survived the gunshot but unfortunately succumbed to gang green. Then in 1908, henry ford created the ford model, t he produced it and he priced it to be very affordable for most americans. He made it easy for many americans to own one. It was also easy to operate. Most people believe that the ford model t dealt a strong blow to the early electric car but thats the short answer, theres more to the story. If you look more closely behind the scenes, for example, did you know that two of americas, greatest innovators, henry ford and thomas edison, were a good friend? There were also neighbors who lived next door to each other henry thought very highly of thomas.

In fact, he thought he was the greatest person in the world. Thomas firmly believed the electric car was superior to the gasoline powered car than the steam powered car. He envisioned the electric cars the way of the future thats why he wanted to help further its technology. He took great interest in the electric car battery. He was aware of its limitations and challenges and he wanted to take it on, and so he did in time, thomas made inroads and battery technology and even started offering nickel iron storage batteries for cars and other applications. But what most people dont know is that henry and thomas worked together to conceive an electric car for the american public. They knew it had to be cheap and practical. Henry even said publicly that one of the biggest challenges was to build the storage battery. That was lightweight and could operate for long distances without recharging by 1913 they built an experimental ford electric car, which they called the edison ford electric. This generated a lot of excitement and with it came a host of rumors swan rumor, whether true or not, was that henry bought an electricity generating plant in niagara falls my hometown. In order to produce the edison ford. Electric car people started speculating on the price of the edison port. It was rumored to cost between 500 to 750 and that the driving range would be somewhere between 50 to 100 miles on a single charge. In 1914, thomas was in his experimental lab in new jersey.

When an unexpected fire suddenly broke out, it nearly destroyed his workshop. One conspiracy theory states that the oil cartels got to henry and thomas thats, what they believe caused both men to abandon their electric car theres. Another theory that henry and thomass electric car endeavor went under because of a disagreement. Evidently, ford wanted to use thomass nickel iron battery in the electric car henry invested, one and a half million dollars in the project and even bought a hundred thousand batteries from thomas early on. But the problem was that thomass battery had extremely high internal resistance. It couldnt power the car in many situations, heavier lead acid batteries could power it, but it weighed more and wasnt ideal for various reasons, so the project folded. A third theory states that henry just got preoccupied with other projects. For example, around that time the electric starter was introduced. This helped increase the sale of the ford model, t even more because people didnt have to crank start them anymore by hand. So in a few years, henry ford was able to make his 1 millionth sale of the model t they say the truth lies somewhere in the middle. Perhaps it was the bit of everything combined whatever the case. One thing is sure: henry thomass electric car project was dead by the 1920s america discovered cheap, texas crude oil. Around the same time, the u.s had been developing better road systems and gasoline filling stations started appearing all across the united states.

This made gasoline readily accessible for even rural americans and since gasoline was so cheap. All these factors combined led to the rise and popularity of gasoline cars and with that and the ultimate decline of the electric car, in fact, by 1935, the electric car was a rare sight on the american road. It eventually went extinct in the years followed things continued that way. For 30 years gas supply was abundant. It was cheap, plus the gasoline car continued to see more improvements and innovation. So americans just didnt feel a need for alternatives like the electric car. Why change was not broken? The system as it was, was affordable, easy and convenient, but then came the global oil crisis that happened from 1968 to 1973. Gas prices soared astronomically. For the first time. In decades, americans started thinking. The grass was greener. On the other side, they began pondering about the electric car. Again many car makers started researching alternative fuels. For example, general motors developed, an urban electric car prototype during the oil crisis. Nasa did something impactful did you know that nasa lunarover, the first manned vehicle to drive on the moon, was actually an electric vehicle. This event raised the reputation, image and awareness of the electric car, but the sudden interest in an electric car, soon waned and faded thats, because the technology had laid dormant for decades and was still in its infancy. It was behind the technology and there were a lot of disadvantages, including range and performance compared to the gasoline powered car which had already come far by then.

It wouldnt be for another decade that interest in the electric car started to take a firmer hold. That was due to new federal and state regulations that revived interest in the ev. The late 1990s was the era that saw the honda insight in the toyota prius. The prius was the first mass produced hybrid and it was able to achieve instant success in the meantime. Other car makers started modifying their popular cars into electric cars and improving the ev and its battery. This renewed interest gave ride to a brand new startup in silicon valley. Its goal was to produce a luxury sports car with a range of 200 plus miles and thats. How tesla entered the game that was in 2006, and that was a good push, because it gave impetus for other car makers to accelerate their own efforts on ev innovation. Meanwhile, the us department of energy wanted to help american consumers charge their cars on the go. So it invested heavily in a charging infrastructure that would span across the states it installed. Some 18 000 residential commercial and public charging then came 2010. This was a big year. General motors released its brand new car, the chevy volt. It was the first commercially available plug in hybrid. It used the battery that was developed by the energy department. The same year. America saw the nissan leaf. It was an all electric zero emissions car. The energy department gave a loan to help nissan start assembling the leaf and tennis battery prices historically have been one of the most expensive parts in the ev, but the energy department has made some investments to help the price of the battery drop by 50 percent.

Did you know that if america transitioned all light duty cars to hybrids or plug ins, we could reduce our dependence on imported oil by some 30 to 60 percent, its a wide range for sure, but nevertheless you can see the impact it would also lower our carbon Pollution thats currently caused by the transportation sector by 20, but now you tell me who – or what do you think, killed the early electric cars and do you think that the internal combustion engine car will someday go completely extinct and be a thing of the past? Please comment below and share your opinion.