Electric Vehicles

In 1839, Robert Anderson developed a prototype vehicle that ran on rechargeable batteries. Until the end of the nineteenth century, the development of the electric automobile appeared to be a big success story. In those days, electric vehicles were superior to those with fuel-burning engines, as they had more powerful motors. However, the invention of the combustion engine, combined with low fuel prices, heralded the worldwide rise of the fuel-burning motor car. Electric cars could no longer keep up with the range of the newer petrol engines. Towards the end of the twentieth century, growing acknowledgement of dwindling worldwide oil reserves jump-started a renaissance of electric engines. In particular, hybrid vehicles, which combine a fuel-burning motor with an electric one, became more widely available. Some engineers and mobility scholars see these vehicles as the first step towards a new, comprehensive switch to the use of electric engines.

Further Readings: 
  • Mom, Gijs. The Electric Vehicle: Technology and Expectations in the Automobile Age. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2004.