When Was The First Electric Car Made

Table of Contents

When Was the First Electric Car Made : A Chronology
(Brief History) of the Electric Car

The electric car has a noteworthy past. It became a subject of study and inquiry as far back as the 1830s. In the late 19th century, inventors began to introduce the idea of a vehicle that ran on electricity. Early electric cars had a range of 30 miles and a speed of around 20 mph.

By the early 20th century, advances in battery technology made electric cars more practical. By 1912, an electric car had a range of around 100 miles. In the 1920s, electric cars were popular among city dwellers due to their ability to provide a quiet and clean ride. However, this popularity was short-lived as the production of gasoline-powered cars surged and the price of oil dropped.

The idea of an electric car was revived in the 1990s when the California Air Resources Board mandated that car makers produce zero-emission cars. This resulted in the first modern electric cars being introduced in the early 2000s. Today, electric cars are becoming increasingly popular, thanks to improved battery technology and more efficient motors.

As electric vehicles (EVs) continue to grow in popularity, it’s worth looking back at their history to see how they’ve evolved over time. In this article, I’ll take you on a journey through the history of electric cars, from their earliest days to the present day.

“Robert Anderson builds the first basic electric car in 1832, but it isn’t until the 1870s or later that electric cars become viable. “

When Was The First Electric Car Made

Initial Foray Into Electric Vehicles at a Small Scale

Transportation by horse and buggy is the norm in certain places, but forward-thinkers in Hungary, the Netherlands, and the U.S. are creating the first mini electric vehicles. 

The history of electric cars dates back to the 19th century, when inventors were experimenting with new technologies that could power vehicles. In the early years, electric cars were seen as a viable alternative to gasoline-powered vehicles, but as the gasoline engine became more efficient, electric cars fell out of favor.

  • Who invented the first electric car?

The first electric car was invented by Scottish inventor Robert Anderson in the 1830s. Anderson’s electric car was powered by a non-rechargeable battery and was not practical for everyday use. However, it was a significant milestone in the development of electric cars.

  • The first electric car made – a closer look

The first practical electric car was the Electrobat, which was developed by American inventors Henry G. Morris and Pedro Salom in 1894. The Electrobat was powered by a rechargeable battery that gave it a range of up to 50 miles. The car was used as a taxi in New York City for several years, but it was eventually replaced by gasoline-powered taxis.

Between the years of 1889 and 1891 :

The United States has witnessed the premiere of its first electric vehicle.

In 1896, an ad was released showcasing how similar early electric cars were to carriages. This advertisement was the result of William Morrison, from Des Moines, Iowa, having successfully created the first electric vehicle in the United States. His invention ignited an interest in this type of transportation. 

In the year 1899 :

More People are Choosing Electric Cars

It appears that electric vehicles are becoming increasingly preferred by individuals all around the world. This new trend of buying electric cars is indicative of a major shift in the way people are thinking about their transport.

Electric cars, with their lack of noise, ease of operation and lack of smelly pollutants, soon gained popularity among city-dwellers, especially women, when compared to gas- and steam-powered automobiles that were prominent at the time. 

Between the Years of 1900 and 1912 :

The Popularity of Electric Cars is on the Rise

Approximately one third of vehicles on the roads in the United States are electric vehicles as we move into the new century. 

In 1901 :

Thomas Edison Strives to Create Electric Vehicle Batteries

Innovators have been paying attention to the increasing popularity of electric cars, investigating better methods to advance the technology. Thomas Edison, for instance, held the belief that electric cars were a superior form of transportation, and consequently attempted to create a more efficient battery.

Beginning in 1901 :

Invention of the World’s First Hybrid Electric Car Has Occurred

Ferdinand Porsche, the designer of the renowned sports car, crafted the Lohner-Porsche Mixte; this was the first hybrid electric car on the planet. This vehicle was powered by a combination of electricity stored in a battery and a gas engine. 

Between 1908 and 1912 : 

The Release of the Model T Deals a Setback to the Development of Electric Cars

The Model T, mass-produced and made affordable to the public, aided in the rise of gas-powered cars. In 1912, the implementation of the electric starter furthered the sales of these automobiles even more. 

The period between 1920 to 1935 :

A Decrease in the Use of Electric Cars

Electric cars have experienced a decrease in usage in recent years. This is due to the high cost of purchasing and maintaining an electric vehicle, as well as the lack of charging stations. The trend of decreasing electric car purchases is likely to continue unless prices and charging stations become more accessible.

With the development of better roads and the discovery of inexpensive crude oil from Texas, electric vehicles began to become less and less popular. By 1935, they had nearly vanished. This image shows one of the new gasoline stations that had been built all over the United States, providing gas for people in rural areas, thus leading to the increased use of gas-powered cars. 

From the years of 1968 to 1973 :

Skyrocketing of the Cost of Fuel

For roughly three decades, gasoline was plentiful and inexpensive, and the internal combustion engine improved continually, leaving no need for other types of fuel-powered cars. Yet, when the 1960s and 1970s rolled around, gas prices skyrocketed, leading to a renewed interest in electric automobiles.

In the year 1971 :

Ecstatic about Electric Vehicles

Electric vehicles (EVs) have created a sensation of delight and enthusiasm in people. Their remarkable features and capabilities have left many people over the moon. At approximately the same moment, a manned vehicle drove on the moon. NASA’s Lunar rover was powered by electricity, which brought higher attention to electric cars.

The year 1973 :

The Upcoming Era of Electric Cars

At the 1973 First Symposium on Low Pollution Power Systems Development, General Motors presented a prototype for an urban electric car, inspiring many automakers, both big and small, to explore alternative fuel vehicles.

Between 1974 and 1977 :

Title-holder in Electric Vehicle Purchases

Electric vehicles have been gaining popularity and the sales of this type of vehicle have been skyrocketing. As a result, one company has emerged as a leader in the industry, having sold more electric vehicles than any other.

Sebring-Vanguard has seen success with their Citi Car electric car. This wedge-shaped, compact car has a range of 50-60 miles and has enabled the company to become the 6th largest U.S. automaker by 1975 due to their production of over 2,000 vehicles.

In the Year 1979 :

A Decrease in Enthusiasm for Electric Cars is Evident

At present, electric vehicles have certain shortcomings that reduce their appeal, such as not being able to reach the same level of performance or range as gas-powered cars, thus leading to waning interest in them.

The period from 1990 to 1992 : 

Increased Rules Rekindle the Curiosity of Electric Vehicles

Due to the emergence of fresh federal and state regulations, automotive companies are reworking some of their most popular models into electric vehicles. This offers drivers the possibility of experiencing a level of speed and performance that is much closer to that of gasoline-powered cars.

In the year 1996 : 

The first modern electric car – the General Motors EV1

GM unveils the EV1, a car created from the beginning specifically for electric power. This vehicle quickly develops a devoted fan base. The General Motors EV1 was an important milestone in the history of electric cars. It was the first modern electric car, with a range of up to 100 miles on a single charge. The EV1 was popular with early adopters, but it was controversial because of its limited availability and eventual discontinuation.

The year 1997 :

The Introduction of the First Hybrid in Mass Production

In 2000, Toyota unveiled the first mass-produced hybrid car, the Prius, to the world. The Prius became an immediate hit among celebrities, bringing more attention to the electric vehicle industry.

When Was The First Electric Car Made

The Year 1999 :

Crafting an Improved Electric Vehicle

Constructing a better electric car is a goal of many automotive brands. The development of these vehicles has been a continuous process, with manufacturers continually looking for ways to improve their models. The primary objectives are to reduce emissions, increase range, and make the cars more affordable. To achieve these goals, manufacturers have focused on improving the batteries, motors, and electronics of electric cars.

Additionally, they have sought to reduce weight, increase aerodynamics, and improve the overall driving experience. By continually striving to make improvements, the electric car industry has made great strides in recent years. In the background, researchers and technicians are striving to enhance electric vehicles and their power sources.

ALSO READ : The Genesis Of First Electric Car 

2009 to 2013

Creating a Nationwide System for Charging Stations

To facilitate charging of electric vehicles for consumers, the Department of Energy is supporting the establishment of a nationwide system of charging stations with 18,000 outlets for residential, commercial and public use. In addition, automakers and private companies have added 8,000 more public charging points, bringing the total to 8,000 in the U.S.

The Year 2013

Costs for Electric Vehicle Batteries are Decreasing

The Energy Department has invested heavily in electric vehicle technology, resulting in a 50 percent reduction in battery costs in a span of only four years. This makes electric vehicles more cost-effective for consumers.

In the year 2014

An Abundance of Options for Electric Vehicles

Electric vehicles have become increasingly available and offer a wide array of selections for consumers. With more and more models appearing on the market, the opportunities for drivers to choose the perfect ride for their needs are plentiful. Nowadays, when shopping for an electric car, customers have a lot of options at their disposal. These include hybrids, plug-in hybrids and all-electric models, with 23 and 36 of them respectively currently available.

In the year 2015 :

What Lies Ahead for Electric Vehicles?

Electric cars have grown in popularity in recent years, with increasing numbers of people opting for this type of transportation. The future of electric cars appears to be very promising, as car manufacturers continue to develop more efficient models. Not only will this help reduce emissions and pollution, but it will also give consumers more choices when it comes to selecting an environmentally-friendly vehicle. Additionally, governments around the world are introducing policies to make electric cars more affordable, which should further boost their popularity. All of these factors point to a bright future for electric cars.

The U.S. is presented with a great opportunity to make a step towards sustainability by transitioning to electric vehicles. Replacing all light-duty vehicles with hybrids or plug-in electric models could bring a 30-60 percent decline in reliance on foreign oil, in addition to decreasing carbon emissions from transportation by up to 20 percent.

The rise of gasoline-powered cars in the early 20th century

Despite their popularity, electric cars were eventually overtaken by gasoline-powered cars, which were more efficient and had a longer range. By the 1920s, electric cars had all but disappeared from the roads, and it wasn’t until the late 20th century that they made a comeback.

  • Electric cars make a comeback in the late 20th century

In the 1990s, electric cars began to make a comeback, driven by concerns about air pollution and dependence on foreign oil. One of the most significant developments during this time was the General Motors EV1, which was the first modern electric car. The EV1 was only available for lease, and it was eventually discontinued, much to the disappointment of its fans.

Early electric cars – innovations and challenges

In the early years of electric cars, inventors faced several challenges, including limited range, slow charging times, and the high cost of batteries. Despite these challenges, electric cars continued to be developed, and by the turn of the century, there were several electric car manufacturers in the United States.

  • EVs from Electro bat to Columbia

EVs have come a long way since the Electrobat, which was the first commercially successful electric vehicle created by Pedro Salom and Henry G. Morris from Philadelphia. The two inventors utilized technology from battery-electric street cars and boats to develop their invention and secured a patent for it in 1894. Although the initial version of the Electrobat was heavy and slow, weighing in at 1600 pounds with steel “tires” and batteries onboard, it paved the way for other EVs like Columbia to follow suit.

The Advancement of Electric Autos

The next generation of electric vehicles is here, bringing with them a whole host of new and exciting features. From increased range and speed to improved safety, these cars are providing a better, more efficient option for commuters. With so many options available, it is easier than ever to find an electric car that fits your needs and budget. With the advancements in technology, electric cars are now more reliable and cost-effective than ever before. As the technology continues to improve, the electric vehicle will become an even more attractive option for those looking for an eco-friendly alternative to traditional fuel-powered cars.

The emergence of the electric car

The electric car has recently become a reality with its introduction to the modern world. It has been a long time coming, with the first prototype being created back in the 19th century. Nowadays, the electric vehicle is becoming increasingly popular.

It is difficult to determine a single creator or nation responsible for the invention of the electric car. Instead, a progression of significant developments from the battery to the electric motor in the 19th century was responsible for the first electric car on the streets.

In the beginning of the century, creators from Hungary, the Netherlands, and the US — including a blacksmith from Vermont — began to consider the idea of a battery-powered vehicle and constructed some of the initial miniature electric cars. Robert Anderson, a British innovator, created the first rough electric carriage around the same time, but it was not until the later years of the 19th century that French and English inventors constructed some of the practical electric cars.

In the United States, William Morrison, a chemist from Des Moines, Iowa, kickstarted the electric car craze in the 1890s. His model could accommodate six passengers and reach a top speed of 14 mph. Despite being nothing more than an electrified wagon, it captivated people and stirred up excitement around electric vehicles.

Across the United States, within the upcoming years, many car manufacturers began introducing electric vehicles. New York City had a collection of more than 60 of these electric taxis. In 1900, electric cars were at their pinnacle, comprising approximately one-third of all automobiles. For the next decade, strong sales for these cars persisted.

The push for electric vehicles is motivated by environmental considerations

By the 1990s, the enthusiasm for electric vehicles had largely diminished since the 1970s gas lines. However, the passing of the 1990 Clean Air Act Amendment and 1992 Energy Policy Act, along with the California Air Resources Board’s transportation emissions regulations, helped revive the interest in electric vehicles in the U.S.

At that period, car makers began transforming some of their most favored car models into electric cars. This resulted in electric cars now achieving a speed and performance much closer to those of gasoline-powered cars, and a majority of them had a range of 60 miles.

The EV1 from GM was a popular electric car at the time, and was the subject of the 2006 documentary Who Killed the Electric Car?. This model was not just an altered conventional vehicle, but was instead created from the ground up. It had a range of 80 miles and could reach 50 mph in seven seconds, which earned it a cult following. Unfortunately, the costs of production were too high and the EV1 was discontinued in 2001.

In the late 1990s, when the economy was booming, the middle class expanding, and gas prices were low, many people did not give much thought to fuel efficiency when choosing a vehicle. Though electric vehicles did not receive much public attention, the Energy Department was investing in research and development to improve battery technology.


The history of electric cars is a long and storied one, with several ups and downs along the way. Despite facing significant challenges over the years, electric cars have continued to evolve and improve, and they are now poised to become the dominant form of transportation in the coming decades. As we look to the future, it’s clear that electric cars will play a significant role in reducing our dependence on fossil fuels and creating a more sustainable world.

Are you interested in learning more about electric cars? Check out our website for the latest news and reviews of electric vehicles.

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