A brief history of electric cars
Although electric cars are commonly perceived to be a recent invention, their history actually dates back to the 19th century. The true origin is widely debated. However, between 1828 and 1835 a number of inventors from across Europe and America produced various forms of electric powered vehicle.
It was French physician Gaston Plate who, in 1865, created the first rechargeable battery. This making the application of electric power to mass motoring a more feasible possibility.
In 1884, a year before the arrival of the world's first production car (the Benz patent motorwagen), Thomas Parker created the first roadworthy electric car. Parker is believed to have used his invention to travel to and from work in his hometown of Wolverhampton. A second prototype of this electric vehicle was transported to France in order to commence mass production. However, the ship carrying it sadly sank enroute.
The first electric carriage to successfully be massed produced came in 1891 thanks to William Morrison, based in Iowa USA. It was powered by a 4bhp electric motor that took 10 hours to recharge. Its top speed was between 6 - 12 mph but could offer a range of over 100 miles.
1897 saw the first electric taxi arrive in New York and by 1899 over 100 electric cars were in use in the city.
The Porsche P1 was launched in 1898. It achieved a range of 50 miles from its 3bhp electric motor and a top speed of 22mph.