Early history[ edit ] Electric model cars[ edit ] The invention of the first model electric vehicle is attributed to various people. In , Vermont blacksmith Thomas Davenport built a similar contraption which operated on a short, circular, electrified track. It was powered by galvanic cells batteries. Davidson later built a larger locomotive named Galvani, exhibited at the Royal Scottish Society of Arts Exhibition in The 7,kilogram 7-long-ton vehicle had two direct-drive reluctance motors , with fixed electromagnets acting on iron bars attached to a wooden cylinder on each axle, and simple commutators.
It hauled a load of 6, kilograms 6 long tons at 6. It was tested on the Edinburgh and Glasgow Railway in September of the following year, but the limited power from batteries prevented its general use. It was destroyed by railway workers, who saw it as a threat to their security of employment. He also may have been concerned about the malign effects smoke and pollution were having in London.
The company merged with other rivals in to form the Electric Construction Corporation; this company had a virtual monopoly on the British electric car market in the s. The company manufactured the first electric ' dog cart ' in Before the pre-eminence of internal combustion engines , electric automobiles also held many speed and distance records. Also notable was Ferdinand Porsche's design and construction of an all-wheel drive electric car, powered by a motor in each hub, which also set several records in the hands of its owner E.
It was not until that consumers began to devote attention to electric vehicles, after A. Ryker introduced the first electric tricycles to the U. Golden age[ edit ] Interest in motor vehicles increased greatly in the late s and early s. Electric battery-powered taxis became available at the end of the 19th century. In London, Walter C. Bersey designed a fleet of such cabs and introduced them to the streets of London in They were soon nicknamed "Hummingbirds" due to the idiosyncratic humming noise they made.
They did not have the vibration, smell, and noise associated with gasoline cars. They also did not require gear changes. While steam-powered cars also had no gear shifting, they suffered from long start-up times of up to 45 minutes on cold mornings.
The cars were also preferred because they did not require a manual effort to start, as did gasoline cars which featured a hand crank to start the engine. Electric cars found popularity among well-heeled customers who used them as city cars , where their limited range proved to be even less of a disadvantage. Electric cars were often marketed as suitable vehicles for women drivers due to their ease of operation; in fact, early electric cars were stigmatized by the perception that they were "women's cars", leading some companies to affix radiators to the front to disguise the car's propulsion system.
In the United States by the turn of the century, 40 percent of automobiles were powered by steam, 38 percent by electricity, and 22 percent by gasoline. A total of 33, electric cars were registered in the United States, and America became the country where electric cars had gained the most acceptance.
They featured luxurious interiors and were replete with expensive materials. Sales of electric cars peaked in the early s. In order to overcome the limited operating range of electric vehicles, and the lack of recharging infrastructure, an exchangeable battery service was first proposed as early as The vehicle owner purchased the vehicle from General Vehicle Company GVC, a subsidiary of the General Electric Company without a battery and the electricity was purchased from Hartford Electric through an exchangeable battery.
The owner paid a variable per-mile charge and a monthly service fee to cover maintenance and storage of the truck. Both vehicles and batteries were modified to facilitate a fast battery exchange. The service was provided between and and during that period covered more than 6 million miles. Beginning in a similar successful service was operated in Chicago for owners of Milburn Wagon Company cars who also could buy the vehicle without the batteries. A number of developments contributed to this situation.
By the s an improved road infrastructure required vehicles with a greater range than that offered by electric cars. Worldwide discoveries of large petroleum reserves led to the wide availability of affordable gasoline, making gas-powered cars cheaper to operate over long distances.
Gasoline cars became even easier to operate thanks to the invention of the electric starter by Charles Kettering in ,  which eliminated the need of a hand crank for starting a gasoline engine, and the noise emitted by ICE cars became more bearable thanks to the use of the muffler , which Hiram Percy Maxim had invented in Finally, the initiation of mass production of gas-powered vehicles by Henry Ford brought their price down.
Electric vehicles became popular for certain applications where their limited range did not pose major problems. Forklift trucks were electrically powered when they were introduced by Yale in Michael Brian examines the social and technological reasons for the failure of electric cars in his book Taking Charge: The Electric Automobile in America. Fuel-starved European countries fighting in World War II experimented with electric cars such as the British milk floats and the French Breguet Aviation car, but overall, while ICE development progressed at a brisk pace, electric vehicle technology stagnated.
In the late s, Henney Coachworks and the National Union Electric Company, makers of Exide batteries, formed a joint venture to produce a new electric car, the Henney Kilowatt , based on the French Renault Dauphine. Despite the Kilowatt's improved performance with respect to previous electric cars, consumers found it[ citation needed ] too expensive compared to equivalent gasoline cars of the time, and production ended in Revival of interest[ edit ] In , American Motors Corporation AMC and Sonotone Corporation announced a joint research effort to consider producing an electric car powered by a "self-charging" battery.
The Enfield did make it into small-scale production, were eventually produced. The three lunar rovers are currently parked on the moon On 31 July , an electric car received the unique distinction of becoming the first manned vehicle to drive on the Moon ; that car was the Lunar rover , which was first deployed during the Apollo 15 mission.
The "moon buggy" was developed by Boeing and GM subsidiary Delco Electronics co-founded by Kettering  featured a DC drive motor in each wheel, and a pair of volt silver-zinc potassium hydroxide non-rechargeable batteries. After years outside the limelight, the energy crises of the s and s brought about renewed interest in the perceived independence electric cars had from the fluctuations of the hydrocarbon energy market.
General Motors created a concept car of another of their gasoline cars, the Electrovette The automakers were accused of pandering to the wishes of CARB in order to continue to be allowed to sell cars in the lucrative Californian market, while failing to adequately promote their electric vehicles in order to create the impression that the consumers were not interested in the cars, all the while joining oil industry lobbyists in vigorously protesting CARB's mandate.
Almost all other production electric cars were withdrawn from the market and were in some cases seen to have been destroyed by their manufacturers. GM famously de-activated the few EV1s that were donated to engineering schools and museums.
Pike Research estimated there were almost , NEVs on the world roads in These electric vehicles are not considered by the government as new energy vehicles due to safety and environmental concerns, and consequently, do not enjoy the same benefits as highway legal plug-in electric cars. Modern highway-capable electric cars[ edit ] California electric car maker Tesla Motors began development in on the Tesla Roadster , which was first delivered to customers in In November Tesla delayed one more time the start of deliveries to retail customers, and announced the company expects Model X deliveries to begin in the third quarter of In an August edition of The New Yorker, GM vice-chairman Bob Lutz was quoted as saying, "All the geniuses here at General Motors kept saying lithium-ion technology is 10 years away, and Toyota agreed with us — and boom, along comes Tesla.
So I said, 'How come some tiny little California startup, run by guys who know nothing about the car business, can do this, and we can't?
The Renault Fluence Z. The battery exchange process took five minutes. Less than 1, Fluence Z. The record was officially registered by Guinness World Records. Several months later, the Nissan Leaf overtook the i MiEV as the best selling all-electric car ever,  and by February global sales of the Leaf reached the 50, unit mark.
Toyota eQ in Japan in The car production is limited to units. Toyota announced that 90 out of the vehicles produced globally will be placed in carsharing demonstration projects in the United States and the rest in Japan. Its manufacturer, Coda Automotive , filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on 1 May The company stated that it expects to emerge from the bankruptcy process to focus on energy storage solutions as it has decided to abandon car manufacturing.
This time was the Nissan Leaf with units sold, representing a 5. The ,th car was delivered to a British customer. Accounting for plug-in hybrids, the Leaf and the Model S also ranked first and second correspondinly among the world's top 10 selling plug-in electric cars. Global sales of the Renault Zoe , released in , achieved the 50, unit milestone in June Nissan sales totaled , units, which includes the Nissan Leaf and the e-NV van.
Renault has sold 65, electric vehicles, and its line-up includes the ZOE passenger car, the Kangoo Z. The Tesla Model S , with global deliveries of more than , units, is the world's second best selling all-electric car of all-time.
Before the unveiling event, over , people had reserved the Model 3. The Norwegian electric-drive segment achieved a combined market share of Electric bicycle The principal manufacturer of e-bikes globally is China, with seeing the manufacturer of In the world Geoby is the leading manufacturers of E-bikes. Pedego is the best selling in the U. In China the number of electric bicycles on the road was million in It retains capacity of nearly 6 million electric bicycles a year.
In , Charger Electric Bicycle was the first U. Select historical production vehicles[ edit ] Selected list of battery electric vehicles include in chronological order: