I've always thought that EVs are a revolution of the 21st century. So I was a little surprised that the foray into Electric Vehicles started in the 19th century! Did that surprise you too? To put things in perspective, the automotive car was launched in1886 by Karl Benz. In 1903, Henry Ford founded the Ford Motor Company and introduced the Model T, which was one of the first mass-produced automobiles
Electric vehicles in the 19th century were the first practical electric cars to be developed. They were powered by rechargeable batteries and had an electric motor that drove the wheels. The early electric vehicles were mainly used for short trips.
The first electric car was developed by Thomas Davenport in 1834, but it was not until the 1880s that practical electric cars were developed. Electric vehicles were popular in the United States and Europe until the early 1900s when gasoline-powered cars became more affordable and had longer ranges.
There were many electric vehicles launched in the nineteenth century, some of which were quite innovative for their time. Here are a few great examples:
The Flocken Elektrowagen (1888): This was one of the first electric cars to be developed. It was built by Andreas Flocken and had a top speed of around 12 miles per hour (19 km/h). The car had a range of around 50 miles (80 km) on a single charge and was powered by a rechargeable battery.
The La Jamais Contente (1899): This was an electric car that set the world land speed record in 1899. It was built by Camille Jenatzy and had a top speed of 68 miles per hour (109 km/h). The car was powered by two direct-drive electric motors and was one of the first cars to use aerodynamic design principles.
The Baker Electric (1899): The Baker Electric was one of the most popular electric cars of the early 20th century. It was built by the Baker Motor Vehicle Company in Cleveland, Ohio, and was marketed primarily to women because of its ease of use. The car had a range of around 50 miles (80 km) on a single charge and could reach a top speed of 20 miles per hour (32 km/h).
The Columbia Electric Phaeton (1899): The Columbia Electric Phaeton was a luxury electric car that was built by the Columbia Automobile Company in Hartford, Connecticut. The car had a range of around 40 miles (64 km) on a single charge and could reach a top speed of 15 miles per hour (24 km/h). It was marketed primarily to wealthy buyers and was one of the most expensive cars of its time.
Of course, the cars look very different and are a far fry from the advanced technology seen in EVs today!
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Note: All images from Wikipedia