The Historical Timeline of Electric Cars

electric car

1859…. Gaston Plante of France invented the the first rechargeable lead acid battery.

1881…. Camille Faure invented the lead acid battery similar to those of today.

1891…. William Morrison of Des Moines Iowa invents the first American electric auto

1900…. The electric car was at an all time high in popularity

1920’s…The electric car is no longer produced for consumer retail

1970’s… Pollution and over inflated oil prices create a new interest in electric cars

1988…. GM joint ventures with AeroVironment to design EV1

2006…. Tesla motors promotes the electric sport luxury Tesla Roadster

2010…. Nissan Leaf and Chevy Volt are available to the general public


The 1902 Phaeton was built by the Woods Motor Vehicle Company of Chicago, which had a range of 18 miles, a top speed of 14 mph and cost $2,000. Later in 1916, Woods motors of Chicago  invented a hybrid car that had both an electric motor and an internal combustion engine.


While the entry level electric cars cost under $1,000, most early electric vehicles were ornate, massive carriages designed for the upper class. They had fancy interiors, with expensive materials, and averaged $3,000 by 1910. Electric vehicles realized a high level of  success through the roaring 1920s with production at a maximum in 1912.

The newest development for the propellant of the fully electric vehicle is the advent of the lithium ion type of battery. These batteries are far superior to the previous most popular nickel cadmium

“NiCad”. The “wireless revolution” was the industry mainly claiming credit for the development of the lithiums for cell phones and electronic gadgets. But the vastly improved characteristics of quick charging and sustained even duty cycle discharges were quickly recognized and adopted by the battery operated tool industry across the board.


The biggest obstacle for electric cars still remains. They just need better PR. Mainstream Americans still view the electric car as a penance or a duty to the environment. Environmentalism is still in the hands of a small amount of the population. People fail to realize that it’s a chance to start over with our transportation industry.


Wed Sept.18, 2013…

Yet still against all marketability common predictions BMW announces :

Today represents a milestone in our company’s development,” said BMW production chief Krüger. “We are making history with the BMW i3. Not only is our first electric car about to hit the road, we are also completely redefining sustainability with regard to personal mobility thanks to groundbreaking technologies and processes.”


The bottom line is that as of lately,  things in battery and electric car technology are moving at a rapid pace. Keep an eye on it.


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