Short history of the electric vehicle

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The Mobility House Team

August 09, 2019

Estimated reading time: 1 minute

"The trees with deep roots are the ones that grow tall." - Frederic Mistral

That probably also applies to electric cars. Contrary to many people's belief, the electric vehicle is not a new invention, but has its roots deep in the beginning of the 19th century.

old electric car

The Beginning

The first electric motor was invented 185 years ago by Davenport. In 1881 Gustave Trouvé presented the first three-wheeled electric car "Trouvé Tricycle" at the Parisian Electricity Fair. This already reached a top speed of 12 km/h. The first four-wheeled electric car to become famous, however, was the “Flocken Elektrowagen” produced in Germany in 1888.

The Disappearance

At first, the electrically powered vehicle was very topical and in demand due to research into electricity, but gasoline engines soon replaced it again. Reasons for that were among others the facts that longer distances could be covered and petroll prices fell. This way, electric vehicles disappeared almost completely from the roads until about 1920.

The Renaissance

However, the oil crisis in the 90s increased environmental awareness and an attempt was made to focus again on the old technology of the electric car. However, it was mainly companies that bought and used these electric cars, but hardly private individuals. As a result, large manufacturers such as Daimler Benz and General Motors soon stopped producing electric vehicles. At the beginning of 2000, mainly small companies tried to develop and produce electric cars. Thanks to the new and more efficient lithium-ion batteries, these vehicles also had a longer range than before. Tesla, for example, developed the roadster with a range of 350 km at this time. With this proof of the suitability of the electric drive for everyday use, the electric car is now finally making its breakthrough; and it is now quite obvious which is the tallest tree.