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Ev History

Electric vehicles (EVs) are rapidly gaining popularity in the automotive industry. This is largely due to the increasing awareness and concern about the impact of greenhouse gas emissions on the environment. EVs are considered to be one of the most promising solutions to reduce these emissions as they do not emit any harmful emissions while driving. EVs have come a long way since their inception in the early 19th century, from early experimental models to the modern high-performance EVs we see today. In this series of articles, we will take a closer look at the history of EVs and how they have evolved over time. So, let’s dive in and explore the fascinating history of EVs.

Early Evs were simple, battery-powered carts for short distances (2)

ev history


Early EVs were simple battery-powered carts designed to travel short distances. They were not equipped with the advanced technologies and features that are now found in modern EVs. However, these early vehicles were popular in the late 19th century and early 20th century, especially in urban areas due to their quiet and efficient operation.

The first EV built was in 1837 by Scottish inventor Robert Anderson, and since then, several inventors have contributed to the development of EVs. Some of these early EVs could only travel a few miles before needing to recharge, but they were still useful for short trips in the city.

As the technology behind EVs evolved, automotive engineers began developing more advanced batteries, which significantly improved the range of EVs. Today, some EVs can travel over 300 miles on a single charge, making them practical for long-distance travel.

Despite their initial limitations, early EVs served as the foundation for modern electric vehicles. They paved the way for future advancements and revolutionized the automobile industry.

Thomas Davenport built the first American electric vehicle in 1835 (3)

ev history

Thomas Davenport, a blacksmith from Vermont, is credited with creating the first American electric vehicle in 1835. His invention used a small battery to power a simple DC electric motor, which turned a rotor to drive his model car. Davenport’s electric vehicle traveled around half a mile, a significant achievement at the time considering this was before the advent of gasoline cars. However, his invention never gained much commercial success, and it is only now, with the rise of electric vehicles, that he’s receiving recognition for his contribution to EV history.

The first commercially successful electric vehicle was built by Thomas Parker in 1884 (4)

ev history


Thomas Parker, an English inventor, was responsible for creating the first commercially successful electric vehicle in 1884. His invention was a small but powerful electric car that was capable of reaching a speed of 15 miles per hour. Parker was a pioneer in the field of electric vehicles and his invention paved the way for future advancements in this technology.

Prior to Parker’s invention, electric vehicles had been around for decades but were primarily used as novelty items. They were slow, expensive, and had limited range. The market for electric vehicles was tiny and growth was slow.

Parker’s electric car changed this dynamic. His vehicle was powerful, reliable, and affordable. It quickly gained popularity, and by the end of the decade, there were several electric vehicle companies competing for market share.

Parker’s invention was a turning point in the history of electric vehicles. It demonstrated that electric cars could be practical and commercially viable. This paved the way for continued innovation and development of electric vehicles over the next century.

The first electric taxis appeared in London in 1897 (5)

ev history

In the late 19th century, London witnessed the emergence of a new mode of transportation – electric taxis. The first electric taxi appeared on the streets of London in 1897, marking a significant advancement in the field of transportation. These taxis were powered by rechargeable batteries, which eliminated the need for fuel-based propulsion systems. The introduction of these taxis not only reduced pollution levels but also helped in addressing the rising concern of congestion on the streets. The electric taxi offered a quieter, cleaner and more comfortable ride than its gasoline-powered counterparts. Although the use of electric taxis remained limited in the early 20th century, it was still a major step forward in the development of electric vehicles and paved the way for the modern electric vehicle industry.

Henry Ford’s Model T helped lead to the decline of electric vehicles in the early 1900s (6)

ev history

In the early 1900s, electric vehicles were gaining popularity among consumers due to their ease of use and less pollution. However, the rise of gasoline-powered vehicles, particularly the Model T produced by Henry Ford, triggered the decline of electric vehicles. Ford’s Model T was cheaper, more accessible and had a longer range than electric vehicles at the time. The infrastructure for refueling gasoline-powered cars was also more extensive than for charging electric ones. As a result, the demand for electric vehicles dwindled, and gasoline-powered cars became the standard for transportation in America. It wasn’t until the 21st century that electric vehicles regain popularity, thanks to advancements in technology and awareness about environmental issues.

The 1970s saw a resurgence of electric vehicles due to oil crises and new technology (7)

ev history

The 1970s marked a significant era in the evolution of electric vehicles (EVs) as they experienced a resurgence in popularity. Two main factors contributed to this phenomenon: the oil crises and advancements in technology. With these new developments, a growing number of people recognized EVs as a potential solution to the dependency on oil and subsequent fluctuation in gas prices. The technological advancements observed in the 1970s also made EVs more practical, efficient, and affordable, hence, increasing their appeal significantly. Many automobile companies launched new electric vehicle models, and several governments established subsidies and incentives to promote the use of EVs. This decade in the history of EVs laid the foundation for many revolutions in electric vehicle technology that we see today.

The first modern EVs, such as the Nissan Leaf and Chevy Volt, were introduced in the late 2000s (8)

ev history

The late 2000s saw the emergence of the first modern Electric Vehicles (EVs), with the Nissan Leaf and Chevy Volt leading the charge. These vehicles used lithium-ion batteries, had a range of around 100 miles, and were much more practical than their predecessors. The Nissan Leaf, with its groundbreaking design and eco-friendly features, quickly established itself as a best-seller in the EV market. The Chevy Volt, with its extended range capabilities, appealed to a wider audience and solidified EVs as a viable option for drivers. The introduction of these cars marked a turning point in the EV industry, paving the way for newer and more efficient EVs that are now hitting the market.

Tesla’s introduction of the Model S in 2012 marked a turning point for electric vehicles in terms of range and performance (9)

ev history


In 2012, Tesla introduced the Model S, which altered the electric vehicle (EV) market. With a range of up to 265 miles on a single charge, the Model S demonstrated that EVs could compete with gasoline vehicles in terms of range. Additionally, the Model S could go from 0 to 60 mph in just 4.2 seconds, indicating that EVs had the capability to be both efficient and performance-driven. This turning point marked a significant shift in the perception of electric vehicles and paved the way for future models and advancements in the EV industry.

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