Here’s the Full History of the Electric Car in One Mesmerizing GIF

Published June 1, 2016


Electric cars have had a sporadic history to say the least, often coming in bursts of popularity, only to be sidelined by a different type of technology. But the recent surge, brought on largely by the emergence of Tesla Motors, may prove to be the driving force that “EVs” needed to become mainstream.

The first “electric car” was nothing more than a small model built by Anyos Jedlik in 1828, and after that there seemed to be a full on sprint to see who could build the first, truly legitimate, consumer electric vehicle.

English inventor Thomas Parker is often given credit for building the first “practical” electric model in 1884, however since there were so many individuals and companies working on the technology at the time, it is hard to truly say who the “father of the electric vehicle” is, though that title is most often given to inventor Philip Pratt.

It wasn’t until 1891 that an electric vehicle was built in the United States, but after that there was an explosion of activity within the industry. In fact, the very first Porsche was an EV called the Lohner Electric Chaise.

Interestingly enough, it seems that the invention of the electric starter in 1912 was the death toll (at the time) for electric vehicles as it made gasoline powered cars easier to start. After this, the timeline of EV history gets significantly thinner.

Interest in electric cars picked up somewhat in the 60s and 70s, but again the technology never received the push they needed to catch the public eye. It really wasn’t until the emergence of Tesla Motors in 2003, and the release of their “Tesla Roadster” that EVs came back into the spotlight, and given the amount of attention they have received in the last decade, it seems that the electric vehicle is finally here to stay… as Tesla Motors becomes more popular, the big car manufacturers have taken notice, and competition is sure to heat up.

Will electric cars become the new norm for transportation within the next 20 or so years? The possibility is becoming more and more likely.



Chris Riley
About Chris Riley

I have been wrecking cars for as long as I've been driving them but I keep coming back for more. Two wheels or four, I'm all in. gives me a chance to give something back to the automobile community.

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