When we think of alternative energy vehicles, we think of the sleek new hybrids that all the major auto makers are placing on the market. The idea of electrification of transportation is not as a new and novel contempt that has been brought to bear in the 21st century. The whole idea of electrical vehicles is as old as the modern automobile itself.
Bellis, (n.d.). In 1828, Hungarian, Ányos Jedlik invented a small-scale model car powered by an electric motor that he designed between 1832 and 1839. Although it was just a model, the idea of a motorized carriage, that would replace the horse, was born. As with most technologies of its day, its development was slow, the principles of electricity were not widely understood, and the development of batteries that would be suitable for a larger full scale vehicle was in its infancy stage. There is an Iowa connection to the development of one of the first electric vehicles. Inventor (2005). William Morrison Was a Scottish born chemist that arrived in Des Moines in the 1880s. He worked on a version of an electric car for a number of years in “the cave” a secret basement laboratory on Fifth Avenue between Locust Street and Grand avenue. The car was reportedly finished in 1887 and made its first appearance in the Seni Om Sed parade on Des Moines streets in the fall of 1888. The car drew attention from around the world, and Morrison received letters from thousands of people from all corners of the globe. The car its self was primitive by todays standard, it consisted of an open carriage design, and carried 4 passengers. The four wheel drive 4 horse power car traveled at a mind boggling 20 mph, 24 battery cells used to power the vehicle were stored under the seats, they were large and cumbersome and needed recharged every 50 miles. The process of recharging the batteries took ten hours, Morrison was a good promoter he would charge the batteries at night, and drive his magnificent machine all over down town Des Moines during the day. Inventor (2005). Morrison acquired a patent for his $21,000 invention in 1891, and then relocated to Chicago, where he sold the rights to the American Battery Co.Bellis, (2006.). It was not until 1897 the first commercial electrical vehicle (EV) application was established in a fleet of New York City taxis, built by the Electric Carriage and Wagon Company of Philadelphia. Throughout the latter part of the 19th century, and the early part of the 20th century several inventers all over the world worked on developing a practical (EV). While American Inventers were working on the development of vehicles, Europeans were also making strides in the development of the automobile. Men like, Camille Jenatzy and Ferdinand Porsche were breaking land speed records in cars powered by electricity stored in batteries. The initial acceptance of electrical cars was hampered by the lack of a reliable power infrastructure. Automobile (2006). At the beginning of the 20th century, 40 percent of American automobiles were powered by steam, 38 percent by electricity, and 22 percent by gasoline. The first internal