Ever Wondered Where The Electric Car Came From Here’s A Short History Of The Technology And Milestone Moments In Its History
The electric car is fast becoming a significant part of the automotive landscape, with more car buyers making the switch as governments around the world begin to lock down on emissions ahead of a permanent move away from fossil-fuelled personal transportation.
Modern electric cars are on the cutting edge of technological understanding, battery performance and sophisticated manufacturing techniques. It’s technology that feels completely futuristic, but it’s a story that actually began over 100 years ago.
Here’s our whistle-stop tour of the history of the electric car.
The First Gasoline Powered Car Was Made In 1885
In the 1800s, mass-producing hydrogen gas was unfeasible. Liquid gasoline is easier to refine. But liquid fuels do not work for internal combustion. Then, the invention of the carburetor made it possible to mix liquid gas and air. As a result, the internal combustion engine became viable for widespread use.
Several inventors attempted to merge carburetor technology with internal combustion technology. But it was Karl Benz who first perfected a gasoline-powered internal combustion engine in 1878. He won a patent in 1879.
Benz mounted his engine on the back of a tall, three-wheeled buggy. The motor spun a pair of chains which in turn drove the back wheel. Therefore, he called his invention the Benz Motorwagen. It was the first gasoline, internal combustion car. Consequently, he was granted a patent in early 1886. The Patent Benz Motorwagen went on sale in 1888. But while this was a major automotive milestone, the first car was made in 1769over a hundred years earlier.
Ford Institutes The Famous $5 Day
In 1914, $5 per day was double the existing pay rate for factory workers, and on top of that, Ford reduced the workday from nine to eight hours. The day after the $5 Day was announced, an estimated 10,000 people lined up outside Fords employment office hoping to be hired. Fords increased pay greatly improved employee retention since the monotonous and strenuous work of the moving assembly line was causing high turnover.
The increased wage had the added effect of allowing many of Fords employees to purchase the cars they produced, and the eight hour workday allowed Ford to run 3 shifts a day instead of 2. The increased pay, increased leisure time, and even increased the personal mobility of car ownership were all critical factors in the creation of an American middle class.
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Fords River Rouge Complex Begins Manufacturing Antisubmarine Patrol Boats
These 42 Eagle-class boats were the first product manufactured at the Rouge. In its efforts to aid the Allies in WWI, Ford also produced more than 38,000 Model T cars, ambulances, and trucks, 7,000 Fordson tractors, two types of armored tanks, and 4,000 Liberty airplane engines for the Allies. Afterward, Ford hired disabled veterans returning from the war, making the automaker one of the first companies to hire people with disabilities and to adapt work environments to their specific needs.
The First Car Was Made In 1769
Nicola-Joseph Cugnot was one of the pioneers of the steam-powered car. He was an engineer in the French military. Previously, others had experimented with steam pistons. But Cugnot invented a ratchet so a piston could create rotational power. His steam-powered cart, designed for transporting military supplies, was the first self-propelled land vehicle.
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Henry Ford Ii Becomes President Of Ford Motor Company
The son of Edsel and the grandson of Henry Ford, Henry Ford II, served as president from 1945 to 1960 and as chairman and CEO from 1960 to 1979. When Henry II took over, the company and its bookkeeping practices were in disarray. With the help of ten former U.S. Army Air Force officers nicknamed the Whiz Kids, Henry II transformed the organization into a disciplined company with modern management systems prepared for the global challenges of the post-war world.
Ford Begins Production Of Ford Tri
Fords plane was nicknamed the Tin Goose, a reference to the Model Ts nickname as the Tin Lizzie. The Tin Goose was one of the first airplanes used by Americas early commercial airlines.
Combined with Fords reputation, application of assembly-line techniques and investment in Ford Airlines, the plane helped spur the creation of the commercial airline industry. And to further accelerate the industrys development, Ford offered the planes 35 patents free of royalties, including his patent for the navigational radio beam.
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Vehicles Features Take Center Stage
Along with mass production came new features, some of the first being speedometers, seatbelts, windshields and rearview mirrors. Believe it or not, the first turn signals werent added to a car until Buick did it in 1939 thats even after the first car with electric windows and air conditioning! Then cars started to get fancy, with power steering , cruise control , three-point seatbelts and heated seats .
In 1973, Oldsmobile installed the first passenger airbag into their Tornado model. Over 20 years later in 1998, the federal government required all passenger vehicles to come standard with dual frontal airbags.
In the late 80s and early 90s keyless entry systems, electric doors and windows, sunroofs and CD players began to be standard features. This is about the time when technology became a big selling point.
The Rise Of Henry Ford
Ford was no scientist, but he’d been repairing watches and tinkeringwith machines since he was a boy. Never afraid of rolling up hissleeves, he loved machinery and understood it instinctively. Hisfirst car was little more than a four-wheel motorbike that he calledthe Quadricycle. When he took it on the streets of Detroit in 1896,horses bolted in all directions.
Ford must have been delighted: he had no time for horses. Aged14, he’d been thrown from the saddle of a colt, caught his foot inthe stirrups, and dragged home along the ground. A few years later,he’d been seriously injured when his bolting horse and cart tried tosmash through a fence. Now was the time to settle those scores.
Ford loved machines and hated horses, so he hatched a simpleplan: he’d make the simplest possible “horselesscarriage” and he’d make it in such enormous quantities, in only one color, thathe could sell it cheaply to a huge number of people. It took him 12years to get things right. In fact, he made eight different models before he finally came up with awinner, the Model T, launched in 1908a car everyone couldafford. Around 15 million Model T Fords were eventually sold and a delighted Henry Ford scribbled in his notebook: “The horse is DONE”.
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The Rise And Fall Of Henry Ford
By the start of the 20th century, gasoline-engined cars were fast,reliable, and exciting. They were also stupidly expensive. In 1893, Karl Benz’s simple, Viktoriacar had a price tag of £9000 and hardly anyone could afford onehe sold just 45. Car makers stuck with big, expensive cars,so customers stuck with their horses and carts. Then a bold Americanengineer called Henry Ford came along and decided thingshad to be different.
“It was not at all my idea to make cars in any such petty fashion”Henry Ford, My Life and Work, 1922.
What Do We Mean By Car Company
There are a surprising number of surviving car companies that can trace their roots back centuries notably, Peugeot was founded in 1810 and spent the mid-19th century cranking out coffee mills before moving into bicycles and, eventually, cars. The company that became Pierce-Arrow was established circa 1872 to make birdcages, among other sundry goods. Obviously, none of these would qualify as the oldest company founded to make carsthey happened into automobiles many years after going into business.
The famed Benz Patent-Motorwagen arrived just a few years later, in 1885, and despite its delicate look and tricycle configuration, it is a remarkably sophisticated, surprisingly fully realized machine. It might well be considered the first serious internal combustion-powered automobile, and its successor, the four-wheeled Velo, is certainly one of the first successful production internal combustion-powered automobiles.
Yet however natural the move into car production was for Karl Benz, whether it was always part of the plan when he founded Benz & Cie. is pure conjecture. Here, were trying to determine who was the first to go into business with the primary goal of building automobiles.
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The First Rechargeable Electric Car Was Made In 1881
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As early as 1832, inventors experimented with electric horseless carriages. But no one had successfully built a rechargeable battery. Therefore, early electric vehicles were essentially disposable. Gustave Trouvé was a multi-talented French inventor. He first pioneered new, lightweight rechargeable battery technology. Then he greatly improved the efficiency of existing electric engines.
He used these components to invent many devices. For example, he invented a self-propelled boat and electric helicopter. He also invented the metal detector and headlamp. Trouvés other contributions include an early endoscope and a portable slide projector.
It was only a matter of time before Trouvé turned his attention to the automobile. In 1881 he mounted his battery and motor on a British tricycle. Then he rode it around the streets of Paris. Thus, the first rechargeable electric car was made in 1881.
Who Was The Original Inventor Of The Car
Karl Benz invented the first practically useful car with a combustion engine, which ran for the first time on New Year’s Eve in 1879.
This was preceded by the first electric car, which was invented by Robert Anderson in 1837, and was able to run off a single charge.
But the original idea for the invention of the car came centuries earlier, in the early 1500s, when painter and architect Leonardo da Vinci sketched a mechanised, horseless cart.
Da Vinci’s vehicle had a steering column and rack and pinion system, of the type seen in modern vehicles.
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When Were Cars Invented
The invention of the car started in 1500 with da Vinci’s sketch of a motorised cart.
It developed through to Karl Benz’s invention of the first useful car in 1879 – and is still an ongoing process today.
The invention of the combustion engine, which was patented by Jean Joseph-Etienne Lenoir in 1858, was vital to the invention of the car.
Lenoir’s coal gas-powered combustion engine was later adjusted to burn petroleum.
The first safe and practical oil engine, which burned two-stroke carrosine, was designed by George Brayton in 1873.
This was followed closely in 1876 by the first four-stroke engine, by Nikolaus August Otto.
A very popular, static one-cylinder, two-stroke gasoline-powered combustion engine was invented by Karl Benz, and first ran on New Years eve 1879.
The prototype of the modern gasoline engine came from Gotlieb Daimler in 1885.
And in 1895, a diesel compression-ignition internal combustion engine was patented by Rudolf Diesel.
Meanwhile, in the world of electric cars, the first rechargeable lead-acid battery was invented by Gaston Plant in 1865, and modified for use in electric cars by Camille Faure.
An early electric car was built by William Morrison 1891, closely followed, at 62 miles per hour, by Camille Jenitzy in 1899.
The first hybrid car was invented by Ferdinand Porsche in 1900.
And a long-life nikel-alkaline battery was invented by Thomas Edison in 1907, and initially used in delivery trucks.
The Politics Of Driving
Because vehicle manufacturing is such a huge industry and affects safety, politics and government regulation are inescapable. Teen drivers know this all too well. Getting a drivers license now requires a learners permit period, drivers ed courses and other stipulations along with the road rules everyone must follow.Did someone say drivers ed? Get your license on-the-go with Aceable.
But road regulations arent the only political consideration when it comes to cars. Plenty of economic decisions focus on automaking. One of the most notable political interventions in the auto industry was the bailout of 2009. The U.S. government decided to help several U.S. automakers stay financially stable through the recession, largely because they are American institutions that employ thousands of people.
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The Start Of Toyota’s International Sales
Toyota set up a headquarters in Hollywood in 1957 the first Toyota car registered in the United States was a 1958 Toyopet, sold in 1958 the California license plate was installed by Toyota Motor Sales president Shotaro Kamiya himself, in front of the California DMV. Two vehicles were imported, the Land Cruiser and Toyopet. Neither sold well the Toyopet was withdrawn while Toyota designed a car specifically modified for the American market â a strategy which later gave us the Avalon and Camry. Alan wrote:
I am the grandson of the first Toyota dealer in the US. It all started in Larkspur California . Only two vehicles were available, the Toyopet sedan and the Land Cruiser. San Francisco was where the first distribution center was set up.
The highlight of my grandfatherâs pioneer Toyota dealership was a personal visit to his home and showroom from Mr Toyoda, the president of the company. His visit was to thank him for his being the first dealer in the US. He presented my grandfather with two Seiko watches which I still possess.
The dealership came to a close in 1968with the passing of my grandfather. In addition to being the first dealer, he also possessed the largest classic car collection west of the Mississippi. He had over 100 classics including Hupmobiles, Packards, Reos, Dodges, Franklins, Marlots, Plymouths, Grahams, etc.
Who Invented The Car
ByLauren Cox13 September 2017
The history of the automobile is a long and winding road, and pinpointing exactly who invented the car is not a simple matter. But if you rewind the evolution of cars past GPS, past antilock brakes and automatic transmissions and even past the Model T, eventually you’ll get to the Benz Motor Car No. 1, the missing link between cars and horse-drawn buggies.
Karl Benz patented the three-wheeled Motor Car, known as the “Motorwagen,” in 1886. It was the first true, modern automobile. Benz also patented his own throttle system, spark plugs, gear shifters, a water radiator, a carburetor and other fundamentals to the automobile. Benz eventually built a car company that still exists today as the Daimler Group.
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Lexus Luxury Cars Join The Toyota Stable
While Toyota built good near-luxury cars, sales of the Cressida and Crown were not especially strong, especially given the brisk trade in Corollas and Camrys. In the 1980s, when Toyota seriously looked at its lagging luxury sales, Lincoln and Cadillac had both fallen from grace Lincoln was relegated to the limousine and car-service trade, and Cadillac had destroyed its reputation with the 4-6-8 engine and the barely-disguised Cavalier clone, the Cimarron. Chrysler had started to plunge downmarket in the 1970s, and Lee Iaccoca was already erasing any prestige the brand had by making thinly disguised Chrysler versions of entry-level Plymouths. Mercedes’ quality was fairly low, Audi was suffering from the “unintended acceleration” debacle, and, in short, the competition was in tatters. It was time for Toyota to create both a luxury car and a luxury brand to sell it with â the luxury brand mainly because Americans had become accustomed to brands with relatively narrow ranges
The LS400, the first Lexus, finally appeared in 1989. It was an immediate hit thanks to its high levels of luxury and reliability, at a lower cost than Mercedes’ far less reliable and luxurious models the low ebb of the competition also helped Lexus to make a splash. Lexus would remain the leader in passenger car comfort and reliability through to the 21st century, though sales of other models – particularly the IS – lagged. Lexus was finally brought to Japan in 2012.
Automotive Industry Growing Pains
Fords mass production techniques were quickly adopted by other American automobile manufacturers. The heavier outlays of capital and larger volume of sales that this necessitated ended the era of easy entry and free-wheeling competition among many small producers in the American industry.
The number of active automobile manufacturers dropped from 253 in 1908 to only 44 in 1929, with about 80 percent of the industrys output accounted for by Ford, General Motors, and Chrysler, formed from Maxwell in 1925 by Walter P. Chrysler.
Most of the remaining independents were wiped out in the Great Depression, with Nash, Hudson, Studebaker, and Packard hanging on only to collapse in the post-World War II period.
The Model T was intended to be a farmers car that served the transportation needs of a nation of farmers. Its popularity was bound to wane as the country urbanized and as rural regions got out of the mud with passage of the 1916 Federal Aid Road Act and the 1921 Federal Highway Act.
Moreover, the Model T remained basically unchanged long after it was technologically obsolete. Model T owners began to trade up to larger, faster, smoother riding, more stylish cars. The demand for basic transportation the Model T had met tended increasingly in the 1920s to be filled from the backlog of used cars piling up in dealers lots as the market became saturated.
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An Era Of Rapid Expansion: Post
In December 1945, Toyota was given permission by the United States military to startup up peacetime production. Toyota Motor Corporation had learned from the American War Departmentâs industrial training program, which worked on process improvement and employee development the program, abandoned in 1945 by the United States, lived on in Japan as Taiichi Ohno built kaizen and lean manufacturing around it. .
After World War II, Toyota was kept busy making trucks, but by 1947 it began making the Model SA, called the Toyopet, a name to stay with Toyota for decades, albeit attached to different cars. The Toyopet was not powerful and had a low top speed â 55 mph from a 27 horsepower engine â but it was designed to be cheap, and to handle the rough roads of postwar Japan. In the five years the SA Toyopet was made, 215 were made. The SD may have been more successful this taxi version saw 194 copies in just two years.
Realizing that production was being held up by the relatively small number of Japanese drivers, the company started a sales division in 1950.
The SF Toyopet was the first truly popular Toyota car, with a modified engine and a taxi version. An RH model with a 48 horsepower engine came out shortly after By 1955, Toyota was making 8,400 cars per year by 1965, 600,000 cars per year.