Electric Vehicle History

Electric vehicles have been around for many years, even though the general public think that electrically powered vehicles are a recent invention. This is because only in recent years these type of vehicles have become more widely known due to being considered as possible alternatives to vehicles powered by combustion engines in an effort to reduce emissions that contribute to Global warming.

An electrically powered small scale model car invented in 1828 in Hungary is considered by many as being the first invented electric vehicle. Others consider an electric powered carriage invented in the 1830’s in Scotland by Robert Anderson as the first electrical powered vehicle. Another small scale electric car was designed by Professor Stratingh and built by Christopher Becker, his assistant, in Holland in 1835. Thomas Davenport also built a small electric car in 1835. He also invented the first DC motor built in the US.

Unfortunately battery technology was not advanced enough to justify further development of these type of vehicles back then. It was not until the late 1890’s that the first true passenger electric vehicle was built by William Morrison in the US. In fact in the years 1899 and 1900 more electric vehicles were sold than other types of vehicles like gasoline and steam powered vehicles in the US.

In the 1900’s electric powered vehicles had many advantages as compared to their competitors. They didn’t have the smell, vibration as well as noise as did the gasoline vehicles. Also, changing gears on gasoline vehicles was the most complicated part of driving, while electrical automobiles did not require gear changes. Steam-powered cars additionally had no gear shifting, but they suffered from long start-up times of up to 45 minutes on cold early mornings.

Steam vehicles had less range before requiring water than an electric vehicle’s range on a single charge. The best roads of the period were in town, restricting most travel to local commuting, which was well suitable for electric vehicles, since their range was limited. The electric car was the preferred alternative of many because it did not require to manually turn the hand crank to start the engine as the gasoline vehicles needed and there was no wrestling with a gear shifter to change gears.

During World War I, the cost of petrol went through the roof contributing to the popularity of electric cars. This lead to the development of the Detroit Electric which started production in 1907. The car’s range between battery recharging was about 130km (80 miles). The range depended on exactly what type of battery came with the vehicle. The typical Detroit Electric was actually powered by a rechargeable lead acid battery, which did exceptionally well in cold weather.

But the popularity of the electric car quickly came to an end. With better roads being built not only within cities, but also connecting them, the need for longer range vehicles grew. This made the electric car an impractical means of transportation. Also the newly discovered oil in the state of Texas in the US which brought the price of gas down considerably, along with the electric starter invention in 1912 which eliminated the need for a hand crank, made the gasoline vehicle the vehicle of choice. And with Henry Ford making them extremely affordable to the general public by mass producing them, the fate of the electric vehicle was sealed for many years.

It wasn’t until the 1990’s that electric vehicles started resurfacing. With the Global warming issue, the exorbitant prices of imported crude oil and legislation for smog reduction in cities, electric vehicles not only resurfaced but this time are here to stay. One of the main reasons contributing to the re-birth of the electric car is the advance in battery technology. The lithium-ion battery packs and the nickel metal hybrid battery packs are much lighter than previous batteries and can hold enough charge to power a vehicle for 100’s of Miles at high speeds between charges making electrical vehicles efficient and practical.

Are Hybrid Vehicles a Safe and Practical Choice?

Hybrid cars are quickly becoming a popular choice in transportation based in part on their better gas mileage and lower impact on the environment. In fact, their popularity can be seen as I drove around looking at Capitola condos; chances are you’ll see a few driving around. Just as with any other new vehicle, though, there are potential safety concerns. The next few paragraphs will detail some of the safety concerns associated with this relatively new technology, and will hopefully help you decide if the practicality of hybrid cars is worth the investment.

Truth be told, the fact that hybrids run on both gasoline and electricity has no real bearing on their safety. Each individual hybrid car has been tested time and time again by various accident rating institutions such as the National Highway Traffic Safety Association, and Safe Car. Many of the hybrid cars are smaller in size, more maneuverable, and more able to avoid collisions. They also rank relatively high in safety ratings for vehicles in their weight class. Their safety, overall size, and fuel economy make them a great choice for visiting a few of the homes featured at a Capitola real estate broker.

It should be noted, however, that hybrid vehicles do present some unique potential hazards when they are involved in an accident or when they need to be repaired. However, by understanding them, and taking some commonsense precautions, the risks can be minimized. The first potential hazard to consider is that the high voltage hybrid battery and the vehicle’s power train components create a shock hazard. While there is no confirmed record of a person being electrocuted while servicing a hybrid, certain precautions must be taken.

Hybrid vehicles by their very nature contain high voltage electronics. Because of this potential safety concern, high voltage cables and parts are usually color coded to warn of the potential danger. Unless the battery is disconnected, these cables should be avoided. As for the batteries themselves, all hybrid vehicle batteries have a safety switch or a quick disconnect mechanism. It is these and other safety protocols that have been instigated by hybrid car companies to ensure the safety of their clients, rescue workers, and mechanics. This is not a job for the back yard mechanic who lives in a Capitola condominium.

Of course, those who drive, repair or rescue accident victims are not the only people that should be considered when it comes to hybrid safety. Bystanders and pedestrians are also an important consideration. For many of them, one of the perceived advantages of hybrid cars could cause a potential danger. Hybrids cars are extremely quiet on the road. This lack of sound makes their approach fairly unnoticeable, especially by those with vision impairment. Thankfully, there are some industry insiders are trying to create technology to slightly increase the sound of the hybrid engine, and is being developed by Lotus.

Hybrid cars are not only becoming more practical and affordable, but their safety is comparable to conventional vehicles of the same size class. Depending on your transportation needs, and financial status, a hybrid vehicle might be a great investment for you. Whether you buy a hybrid or a Capitola condo for frugal reasons, but have their places as investment in living a good life and being responsible.

What Is a Hybrid Vehicle and What Are the Benefits?

Over the last few years we have seen electric vehicles taking the headlines across the automotive industry and while there has been a large improvement in the associated technology, many people are also considering hybrid vehicles. While hybrids are often seen as something of a stop gap between traditional fueled vehicles and electric powered vehicles, what exactly is a hybrid vehicle?

Power source

The end power source for a hybrid vehicle is the electric motor which powers the wheels and on-board services. This is a fact which is often misunderstood by many people and indeed it is worth confirming exactly where the hybrid tag comes from.

As electric technology continues to evolve the comparison between journey capacity for traditional fueled vehicles and electric vehicles is moving favorably towards electric vehicles but there is still some way to go. The award-winning Nissan Leaf is able to do in excess of 100 miles per full battery charge but this is still nowhere near the capacity available from a traditional fueled vehicle with a full tank of gasoline/petrol.

Backup power source

As a consequence, many car manufacturers around the world have introduced hybrid systems which are effectively backup power supplies fuelled by gasoline/petrol which are then used to recharge the batteries which then power the electric vehicles. Due to the recharging capacity of the gasoline/petrol motors on many hybrid vehicles this can increase the journey capacity enormously and effectively make the hybrid vehicle as efficient if not better in terms of journey capacity.

There is an argument as to whether hybrid vehicles are in some ways more environmentally friendly although the fact that they do use traditional fuels to recharge the lithium ion batteries used to power the electric motors has caused some confusion.

Developments in hybrid vehicles

As battery capacity with regards to electric cars continues to improve there is the opportunity to replace current hybrid batteries with those offering a longer charge and more capacity. This would then ensure that the traditional fuel backup system is not required as often as it is at the moment and therefore improve the efficiency of the vehicle and also reduce ongoing damage to the environment.

For many people hybrid vehicles are a stepping stone along the track to full electric vehicles, as and when the technology improves and is comparable to traditional fuel powered vehicles, but until they see improvements in technology many people are concerned about charging stations and the reduced journey capacity of a full electric vehicle.


It will be interesting to see how the hybrid vehicle is impacted by the ever-growing advances in electric car technology which many believe will at some stage be comparable or better from a journey capacity point of view than their traditional fuel counterparts. How long this will take remains to be seen although there have been some very impressive advances in both electric power technology as well as battery power technology there is still much to do.

More and more experts believe that battery power technology is the key to the future of the electric car market and as such we have seen significant investment in this arena over the last few years. Much of this investment is now beginning to pay dividends and perhaps if the worldwide recession had not occurred we would be in a far stronger position with regards to electric vehicle sales?