Technology From the traditional carriage to the current technological models:...

From the traditional carriage to the current technological models: this is the history of electric cars


Although it seems that the electric car is something new in our society, it is no longer the invention of our time. Its fascinating history dates back to the first half of the 19th century and to the first prototypes, attributed to inventors such as the Hungarian engineer Ányos Jedlik, the American blacksmith Thomas Davenport or the Dutch professor Sibrandus Stratingh. The first modern electric car, however, would arrive in the thirties of the nineteenth century from the hand of the Scottish businessman and chemist Robert Anderson, who invented the first electric vehicle around 1832 or 1839. Its prototype was nothing more than the natural evolution of a Horse carriage, but powered by electric cells. Anderson curdled this first vehicle after knowing those first experiments performed by Ányos Jedlik and Thomas Davenport.

Four decades later, as collected from the Honda blog, after significant advances in the development of the electric battery, the French engineer Gustave Trouvé presented his invention at the 1881 Paris International Exhibition: a three-wheel electric vehicle. It was not very successful, but they did not give up since just a few months later, British engineers William Ayrton and John Perry triumphed with a very similar model.

Ideas around electric mobility continued to evolve, and in 1899 Belgian racing driver Camille Jenatzy, who during his life broke the ground speed record three times, surprised the world by exceeding the then incredible speed of 100 km / h behind the wheel from «La Jamis Contente», a new electric model equipped with the first rechargeable batteries.

Then the first years of the twentieth century were the golden age of electric cars. The most important turning point was the arrival of rechargeable nickel iron batteries, the result of Thomas Edison’s ingenuity. This technological advance allowed to significantly increase the autonomy of electric vehicles of the time, some of which already reached speeds of more than 130 km / h.

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But by then electric cars, like steam cars, were for the wealthiest. The rest of the population moved on foot or in horse-drawn carriages, although they shared the same roads. With the turn of the century, however, gasoline cars also arrived. Although noisy, polluting and difficult to drive (the gearshift and crank start system required some skill), this new technology allowed to travel longer distances. Electric cars were thus relegated to short journeys and often to women, for whom gasoline vehicles were considered too complicated.

Given the complexity of the electricity networks and the absence of them in many areas, history wanted to park electric mobility, but, at present, the growing concern for sustainability and the need to evolve towards a more environmentally friendly society environment, they have recovered those old ideas with
 intention to be the mobility of a very present future.

Therefore, and with the decarbonization of transport, we are living a revolution almost as important as the invention of the automobile itself at the end of the 19th century. Although it seems that today’s technology has nothing to do with that of the past, surely without the efforts of the engineers and inventors of two centuries ago, today we would not have the latest generation of hybrid and electrical models such as those included in its Honda catalog : the new CR-V Hybrid, already available in the Spanish market, or the Honda e, whose commercialization is planned for mid-2020..


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