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A Brief History Of The Electric Car

electric cars a history

Electric cars have been around for quite a while, but if you have never seen one then that isn’t actually such a surprise – they not cheap to buy and therefore only sell in relatively small numbers. However this is something that could be about to change, as there are many new electric cars coming onto the market all the time, and with reduced charging times, cheaper starting prices and better ranges they could soon be a more commonplace sight on our streets.

History of the Electric Car

electric car inventor Robert Davidson

Robert Davidson

It is something of a surprise to many people to learn that electric vehicles have in fact been around since the mid-19th century. Even more surprising perhaps is the fact that the land speed record for a vehicle was held by an electric car until around 1900. It is thought that the first electric car was built by chemist Robert Davidson of Aberdeen in 1937. Powered by batteries, the car was capable of towing 6 tons at a rate of 4mph over a distance of just one and half miles.

early electric carIt was this short range achieved by battery electric cars that led to a decline in both their use and development. I am sure that the designers back then were thought of as crazy and by the 1920’s they had been replaced with gas powered cars.

It was the energy crisis of the 1970’’s and 1980’s that saw a sudden revival in the idea of the electric car with some of the leading manufacturers in the automotive industry turning their attention to designing something that would be worth marketing. Global awareness of the impact of gas emissions on the environment and the need to find an alternative to the dwindling supply of natural resources has led to a huge rise in the popularity of the electric car in recent years.


An indication of just how popular the electric car has become is the prediction that by the end of 2016 there will be a staggering 2 million electric vehicles on the roads worldwide. It seems as though the electric car revolution is beginning to gain momentum. This is great news for the environment but for consumers in the UK issues with a huge lack of charging infrastructure means that with a limit on how far you can travel before needing to charge your car they need to plan their journeys accordingly. Other countries are further ahead of the UK in this respect with electric charging stations more readily accessible.electric car charger

Of course if you live in London not only is it relatively easy to find a charging point but you can also take advantage of the free congestion charge. Electric cars also mean zero tax cost and better still no more lengthy queues at the petrol station!

The Future

electric car being chargedWith more and more manufacturers joining the electric car market, improvements are being made all the time. There is every indication that electric cars will be the way forward. In fact, with countries like the Netherlands and Norway aiming to phase out fossil fuel cars by 2025, it may not be that long before more motorists find themselves driving electric cars.


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