The history of electric vehicles is a long and interesting one. Believe it or not, electric vehicles have been around for more than a century! After serious health concerns over the unsanitary conditions brought on by so many horse carriages (New York City had about 150,000 in 1890, which produced 2.9 million pounds of manure daily), alternative vehicles were conceived to address the issue of cleaner transport. Thus, the electric vehicle was born!
First designed by Robert Anderson in the 1830s, a Scottish inventor, his particular versions never progressed beyond prototypes due to the technological limitations of batteries, as they couldn’t be recharged. It took about three decades for electric car batteries to get upgraded, and in 1881, battery-operated buses started ferrying passengers in Paris, Berlin, London, and New York. And just a few years later, Iowa chemist William Morrison patented his electric carriage, which traveled nearly 50 miles on one charge at a top speed of 20 mph. In fact, by 1897, the top-selling car in the U.S. was battery-powered, though electric vehicles wouldn’t dominate the market for much longer. Still, by 1900, about one-third of all the cars in America were electric due to their easy drivability, noiseless motor, and notable lack of emissions.
The Preferred Vehicle
While the electric car was largely affordable to anyone of means in the early 20th century, a good number of models were specifically marketed to women. Referred to as “ladies cars,” it was propagandized that they were far less difficult to drive than gas or steam-powered vehicles (early ads suggested that women could tend to errands or social events without dirtying any attire.) Such attributes made this alternative vehicle the preferred choice of five First Ladies and even Henry Ford’s wife, Clara (she drove a Detroit Electric and purchased a new model every two years).
Now, the electric vehicle is making a massive comeback as a cleaner, more reliable alternative to the gas-powered car. So there you have it, the history of electric vehicles In Denver there are many rebates available for those who choose electric vehicles, a topic we will be covering in next month’s blog.
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