They were perfect for short trips around the city, and poor road conditions outside cities meant few cars of any type could venture farther. For example, Ferdinand Porsche, founder of the sports car company by the same name, developed an electric car called the P1 in Even Henry Ford, who was friends with Edison, partnered with Edison to explore options for a low-cost electric car in , according to Wired.
Introduced in , the Model T made gasoline-powered cars widely available and affordable. That same year, Charles Kettering introduced the electric starter, eliminating the need for the hand crank and giving rise to more gasoline-powered vehicle sales.
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Other developments also contributed to the decline of the electric vehicle. By the s, the U. With the discovery of Texas crude oil, gas became cheap and readily available for rural Americans, and filling stations began popping up across the country. In comparison, very few Americans outside of cities had electricity at that time.
In the end, electric vehicles all but disappeared by Over the next 30 years or so, electric vehicles entered a sort of dark ages with little advancement in the technology. Cheap, abundant gasoline and continued improvement in the internal combustion engine hampered demand for alternative fuel vehicles.
Fast forward to the late s and early s. Soaring oil prices and gasoline shortages -- peaking with the Arab Oil Embargo -- created a growing interest in lowering the U. Congress took note and passed the Electric and Hybrid Vehicle Research, Development, and Demonstration Act of , authorizing the Energy Department to support research and development in electric and hybrid vehicles.
Around this same time, many big and small automakers began exploring options for alternative fuel vehicles, including electric cars. Even NASA helped raise the profile of the electric vehicle when its electric Lunar rover became the first manned vehicle to drive on the moon in Yet, the vehicles developed and produced in the s still suffered from drawbacks compared to gasoline-powered cars. Electric vehicles during this time had limited performance -- usually topping at speeds of 45 miles per hour -- and their typical range was limited to 40 miles before needing to be recharged.
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Fast forward again -- this time to the s. In the 20 years since the long gas lines of the s, interest in electric vehicles had mostly died down. But new federal and state regulations begin to change things. The passage of the Clean Air Act Amendment and the Energy Policy Act -- plus new transportation emissions regulations issued by the California Air Resources Board -- helped create a renewed interest in electric vehicles in the U. During this time, automakers began modifying some of their popular vehicle models into electric vehicles.
This meant that electric vehicles now achieved speeds and performance much closer to gasoline-powered vehicles, and many of them had a range of 60 miles.
THE RISE AND RISE OF ROAD TRANSPORT, 1700-1990
Instead of modifying an existing vehicle, GM designed and developed the EV1 from the ground up. With a range of 80 miles and the ability to accelerate from 0 to 50 miles per hour in just seven seconds, the EV1 quickly gained a cult following. But because of high production costs, the EV1 was never commercially viable, and GM discontinued it in Depending on whom you ask, it was one of two events that sparked the interest we see today in electric vehicles.
The first turning point many have suggested was the introduction of the Toyota Prius. In , the Prius was released worldwide, and it became an instant success with celebrities, helping to raise the profile of the car. Since then, rising gasoline prices and growing concern about carbon pollution have helped make the Prius the best-selling hybrid worldwide during the past decade.
Historical footnote: Before the Prius could be introduced in the U. The other event that helped reshape electric vehicles was the announcement in that a small Silicon Valley startup, Tesla Motors, would start producing a luxury electric sports car that could go more than miles on a single charge.
In the short time since then, Tesla has won wide acclaim for its cars and has become the largest auto industry employer in California. In comparison, the LEAF is an all-electric vehicle often called a battery-electric vehicle, an electric vehicle or just an EV for short , meaning it is only powered by an electric motor.
ROAD TRANSPORT - Definition and synonyms of road transport in the English dictionary
Over the next few years, other automakers began rolling out electric vehicles in the U. Automakers and other private businesses also installed their own chargers at key locations in the U. This in turn has helped lower the costs of electric vehicles, making them more affordable for consumers. Consumers now have more choices than ever when it comes to buying an electric vehicle. Du kanske gillar. Permanent Record Edward Snowden Inbunden. Spara som favorit. Skickas inom vardagar.
Most books about Britain's transport history have concentrated upon canals and railways. It is now clear that a great deal of traffic went by road even before turnpikes, and that goods as well as passenger services were much more highly developed than used to be supposed. This book is an important survey of road transport over the past three centuries.
The authors summarise the new evidence and arguments and explain why we need to take a longer view of the subject. They shed new light on the importance of horse-drawn freight in the eighteenth century before the introduction of turnpikes, offset the undue attention paid to the railways in the nineteenth century, and stress that motor transport's present great importance only dates from the s.