April 13, 2022 at 6:38 pm

Electric Cars Have a Surprisingly Long History

by Matthew Gilligan

A lot of people out there think that electric cars are a relatively recent invention, but many would probably be surprised to learn that there was an electric option when cars were first invented.

The original electric cars from the late 1800s were one of three car types available right before the turn of the century alongside gasoline-powered cars and steam-powered cars. In fact, by 1899, 40% of American cars were electric.

Each of the three types of cars had its own problems and the electric cars of roughly 120 years ago ran on batteries that were expensive and inefficient. Even Thomas Edison tried to develop a better car battery but other factors soon changed the course of the history of the electric car.

As cars became mass-produced and oil became cheaper, electric cars mostly faded from public view. But in recent years the idea of electric cars has gained ground again as people look for other options.

The video above asks viewers an important question: “Can electric cars reclaim their place on the road?” Time will tell…

This video history comes to us from Ted-Ed. It was written by Daniel Sperling and Gil Tal from the University of California, Davis.

The animation was done by Lobster Studio and it was narrated by Jack Cutmore-Scott.


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