Steam was a tried and true energy source, having proved reliable for powering factories and trains. For lease only, all recovered from customers by General Motors and most destroyed, Fleet vehicle only. Fast forward again -- this time to the 1990s. Ford allowed reconditioning and sale of a limited quantity to former leaseholders by lottery. But many would be surprised to learn that the EV isn’t a new invention. The Ford family bought a new Detroit Electric every other year thru 1914. The other event that helped reshape electric vehicles was the announcement in 2006 that a small Silicon Valley startup, Tesla Motors, would start producing a luxury electric sports car that could go more than 200 miles on a single charge. Instead it was a series of breakthroughs -- from the battery to the electric motor -- in the 1800s that led to the first electric vehicle on the road.In the early part of the century, innovators in Hungary, the Netherlands and the United States -- including a blacksmith from Vermont -- began toying with the concept of a battery-powered vehicle and created some of the first small-scale electric cars. To help reach these emissions savings, in 2012 President Obama launched the EV Everywhere Grand Challenge -- an Energy Department initiative that brings together America’s best and brightest scientists, engineers and businesses to make plug-in electric vehicles more as affordable as today’s gasoline-powered vehicles by 2022. This in turn has helped lower the costs of electric vehicles, making them more affordable for consumers. In comparison, the LEAF is an all-electric vehicle (often called a battery-electric vehicle, an electric vehicle or just an EV for short), meaning it is only powered by an electric motor. Global all-electric car/van sales passed 1 million. The first electric car was a crude beast. Introduced in 1908, the Model T made gasoline-powered cars widely available and affordable. It’s hard to tell where the future will take electric vehicles, but it’s clear they hold a lot of potential for creating a more sustainable future. Development started as early as the 17th century with the invention of the first steam-powered vehicle, which led to the creation of the first steam-powered automobile capable of human transportation, built by Nicolas-Joseph Cugnot in 1769. History of electric cars The history of electric cars began in the mid 19th century, and the invention of the electric car is attributed to various inventors. For example, General Motors developed a prototype for an urban electric car that it displayed at the Environmental Protection Agency’s First Symposium on Low Pollution Power Systems Development in 1973, and the American Motor Company produced electric delivery jeeps that the United States Postal Service used in a 1975 test program. In the end, electric vehicles all but disappeared by 1935. Tesla’s announcement and subsequent success spurred many big automakers to accelerate work on their own electric vehicles. Released in Japan in 1997, the Prius became the world’s first mass-produced hybrid electric vehicle. Some sold, most leased; almost all recovered and most destroyed. With a booming economy, a growing middle class and low gas prices in the late 1990s, many consumers didn’t worry about fuel-efficient vehicles. There are many different types of automobiles – steam, electric, and gasoline – as well as countless styles. The first example of a steam-powered car was invented by Jesuit missionary Ferdinand Verbiest in 1672. Through the Recovery Act, the Energy Department invested more than $115 million to help build a nation-wide charging infrastructure, installing more than 18,000 residential, commercial and public chargers across the country. Many innovators at the time took note of the electric vehicle’s high demand, exploring ways to improve the technology. BMW's electric car, the 1602 E, had a range of 37 miles. General Motors collected and destroyed most. Over the next 30 years or so, electric vehicles entered a sort of dark ages with little advancement in the technology. First Electric Car Somewhere in-between 1832 and 1839 (the exact date is unknown), Scotsman Robert Anderson is credited with inventing the first electric car (by some accounts, though this is still under debate). Even NASA helped raise the profile of the electric vehicle when its electric Lunar rover became the first manned vehicle to drive on the moon in 1971. Cumulative global plug-in sales passed the 10 million unit milestone. Some highlights in the history of the car: 1. In the United States, electric streetcars replaced horse-drawn cars at a particularly rapid rate from 1902 to 1917. These days, when a major automaker unveils an electric car it gets a lot of press. It's driving energy comes only from liquid fuel. Gottlieb Daimler. While gasoline cars had promise, they weren’t without their faults. Around this same time, many big and small automakers began exploring options for alternative fuel vehicles, including electric cars. The world's first electric car may have been built by a Victorian inventor. Someday, though, electric cars will just be cars. BMW debuted its first electric car at the 1972 Summer Olympics. To make the Prius a reality, Toyota used a nickel metal hydride battery -- a technology that was supported by the Energy Department’s research. Beginning in 1996, General Motors built 1,117 of the cars and leased most of … His six-passenger vehicle capable of a top speed of 14 miles per hour was little more than an electrified wagon, but it helped spark interest in electric vehicles. He made a small model car that … Electric cars have been around a lot longer than today’s Tesla Motors or even the General Motors EV1 of the late 1990s. Learn about the history of the hybrid -- from the, A plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (also called a PHEV) is a vehicle with plug-in capability, and it can use energy for driving from either its battery or liquid fuel. After receiving a patent on January 29, 1886, Karl Benz is credited for producing the first modern car. Congress took note and passed the Electric and Hybrid Vehicle Research, Development, and Demonstration Act of 1976, authorizing the Energy Department to support research and development in electric and hybrid vehicles. But because of high production costs, the EV1 was never commercially viable, and GM discontinued it in 2001. At the turn of the 20th century, the horse was still the primary mode of transportation. Electric cars have existed since at least 1834, long before gasoline cars were invented. Introduced more than 100 years ago, electric cars are seeing a rise in popularity today for many of the same reasons they were first popular. Steam vehicles required long startup times -- sometimes up to 45 minutes in the cold -- and would need to be refilled with water, limiting their range. h pack nominal; 84 V system with regen. Learn how. The Norwegian plug-in car segment set a record market share of 74.7% of annual new passenger car sales. But as Americans became more prosperous, they turned to the newly invented motor vehicle -- available in steam, gasoline or electric versions -- to get around. Today, there are 23 plug-in electric and 36 hybrid models available in a variety of sizes -- from the two-passenger Smart ED to the midsized Ford C-Max Energi to the BMW i3 luxury SUV. That same year, Charles Kettering introduced the electric starter, eliminating the need for the hand crank and giving rise to more gasoline-powered vehicle sales. 1000 Independence Ave. SWWashington DC 20585202-586-5000. Even Henry Ford, who was friends with Edison, partnered with Edison to explore options for a low-cost electric car in 1914, according to Wired. Instead it was a series of breakthroughs -- from the battery to the electric motor -- in the 1800s that led to the first electric vehicle on the road. 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