Electric cars have been around much longer than most people realize. Below are 5 facts about the early days of electric cars:
- Electric car models appeared as early as 1828 when a Hungarian inventor named Ányos Jedlik invented an electric motor and then a small model car powered by this motor.
- French physicist Gaston Planté invented the lead-acid battery in 1859 which made rechargeable batteries for use in a vehicle viable for the first time.
- Around 1890 the first US electric car was created by chemist William Morrison. It’s top speed was 14 mph.
- By 1900, electric cars accounted for about a third of all the vehicles on the road.
- Several factors contributed to the decline in popularity of electric cars in the 1910s/1920s including:
- Improved roads/infrastructure made the range limitations of electric vehicles an issue
- The discovery of large oil reserves around the world made gasoline cheaper
- The mass production of gas-powered vehicles (by Ford) drove the price of these vehicles down which made electric vehicle much less affordable compared to their gas-powered counterparts.