This paper was written to give an in depth look at the Electric Vehicle and the social, economical and technological impact it will have on the future transportation. The Electric
Vehicle, or EV, is a very old concept with even older roots, the first electric motor was invented in 1834 and nearly two hundred years later the electric motor is still a safe and clean alternative to combustion engines. This paper also explores the technology behind the EV and those who strove to improve what will become a very vital technology in the centuries to come. Finally, I would like to express the importance of implementing alternative energies to ensure a more productive and safer future. Introduction and Background Contrary to popular belief Electric car is not some progressive newfound technology, but instead has been a quiet and clean alternatives since the late 19th century. Unfortunately, due to improvements and mass production of the combustion engine the electric car declined to nearly nonexistence for half a century. However, due to some legislative action by worldwide governments to regulate air emissions and an oil scare, electric cars have made a comeback. Now the early 21st century has brought many existing advancements to EVs such as the first use of lithiumion batteries in Tesla's Roadster and improvements to the electric motor. As we all know technology develops exponentially and we can soon expect to see electric cars surpass the gas powered car in milage, power and convenience.
The history of the electric vehicle can be traced back to the invention of the first
conventional electric motor created by Thomas Davenport in 1834 [M.Bellis 2014]. However, it’s still uncertain as to who was the first to build a working electric car. But, it was certain that
Thomas Davenport and Scotsmen Davidson were responsible for the most useful and working electric cars, mostly due to their use of the newly invented batteries. Slowly but surely the electric car began to take off metaphorically and literally. The first car to ever surpass 60 mph was in fact an electric car in 1899 [A.Fuhs 2009]. Compared to the steam and gasoline cars of the day the electric car was in a league of its own. The EV was quiet, comfortable and clean it also didn’t need to be cranked, something that made the gasoline powered cars of the day a hassle.
Also, the cities were really the only place with decent roads which was perfect for EVs since their battery only allowed a limited range. It was simply more convenient and it showed, in the year 1900 there were twice as many EVs as their were gasoline powered cars [A.Fuhs 2009].
Unfortunately, their popularity didn’t last and soon the electric car was in danger of becoming extinct. There were many factors as to why the electric car declined so rapidly and for so long. First was the fact that cities started to improve intercity transportation systems that forced a demand of longer range cars. Second was the invention of the electric starter in 1912 by a Charles Kettering and the muffler by Hiram Maxim . The electric starter eliminated the need for a hand crank and the muffler eliminated much of the noise. Lastly, Henry Ford’s introduction of an affordable car made the electric car not only more expensive but also less reliable. From the 1920s to the early 1960s EVs were practically nonexistent [A.Fuhs 2009].
The late 20th and early 21st century have shown a revival of many forms of alternate energy such as the electric car. With a growing population comes a growth in demand and the demand for oil is only getting higher and production has been declining for 35 years since 1970
[A.Fuhs 2009]. It is common knowledge that one day we will run out of oil and many of our traditional forms of transportation will be in danger of collapsing. The electric car will definitely play a key role in curbing