The Past and Future of Electric Vehicles
The journey of electric vehicles began in the early 1800s when engineers from many different countries started experimenting on small-scale electric cars, but these efforts did not turn into practical vehicles until the late 19th century. The first electric car that successfully operated in the US was created by a chemist called William Morrison. Even though it could only reach the speed of 14 miles an hour, it inspired the continuation of attempts within the electric transportation world.
Later on, as more electric vehicle models were introduced to the market, the demand for them also increased since they were much quieter, cleaner, and easier to drive than diesel-powered cars. Ferdinand Porsche jumped on the bandwagon and presented the Egger-Lohner C.2 Phaeton, one of the earliest commercial electric cars, in 1898. In those times, Thomas Edison was also a big advocate for electric vehicles and believed that they were superior technology, as well as Henry Ford who later worked on designing a low-cost electric car in 1914.
If the history of electric vehicles goes all the way back, then why is there a trend in this technology now? Even though electric cars were highly liked in the 19th and 20th centuries, the high cost and weight of the batteries prevented the common usage of electric vehicles. However, nowadays, solar and lithium-ion batteries became the cheapest they have ever been, making them more accessible and cost-efficient to use in electric vehicles. As a result, electric vehicles ended up being less costly than fossil fuel engines, considering both the fuel and maintenance costs.
On top of electric cars, which are mostly used for personal purposes, electrification has entered the public transportation industry as well with updates such as regenerative braking in trains and trams. Moreover, electric micromobility -which includes bikes, scooters, and skateboards- is also showing progress and is expected to reach $214.57 billion by 2030. The demand for electric trucks has also experienced a 625% increase since 2019. All these updates indeed boost our hope towards the goal of a clean and sustainable world.