19th Century EV History with Pictures – Before we talked about the history of electric cars or electric vehicles in the nineteenth century, we talked about the history of the early electric cars. A long journey before the 19th century began. Interestingly, this history continues to this day where cars and electric vehicles have begun to fill the highways, especially in developed countries. Meanwhile, in developing countries, although the transition progress is slower, the movement is definite and real.
19th Century EV History with Pictures
1800 Stacking metals and brine-soaked cloth in series, Alessandro Volta develops the voltaic pile, the first battery capable of supplying a continuous current to a circuit.
1807 French inventor François Isaac de Rivaz designs a hydrogen-powered internal combustion engine (ICE) and uses it to power a small carriage—the first automobile with an ICE. In 1813, he designs a much larger vehicle, 6 m long, weighing almost a ton. It is loaded with 700 lb of stone and wood, along with four men, and runs for 26 m up a hill. Despite his successes, most people still believe steam power will reign supreme.
1815 Czech professor Josef Božek builds a steam car powered by oil.
1820 During a lecture, Danish physicist Hans Christian Ørsted notices that a compass needle is deflected when a nearby current is switched on and off, confirming a relationship between electricity and magnetism.
1820 André-Marie Ampère invents the solenoid, showing that a uniform magnetic field is produced inside a cylindrical coil of currentcarrying wire.
1821 English scientist Michael Faraday builds the first motor, a homopolar motor in which a current-carrying wire that is extended into a pool of mercury rotates around a magnet.
1824 English physicist William Sturgeon invents the electromagnet. He demonstrates its power by lifting 9 lb with a small piece of iron wrapped with wire, powered by a battery.
1828 Hungarian priest Ányos Jedlik invents the first direct-current (DC) motor as we know it, complete with stator, rotor, and commutator. He builds a model electric car to demonstrate its potential.
1831 Faraday investigates induction. Current from a battery is used to induce a magnetic field around a coil of wire (A), which, when moved inside another coil of wire, induces a current in the other wire (B), which is detected by a galvanometer (G).
1833 Russian physicist Heinrich Lenz formulates Lenz’s Law, which states that an induced current flows in a direction that opposes the change that produced it.
1834 Vermont blacksmith Thomas Davenport builds a DC motor and demonstrates its potential by building a model electric train.
1836 English chemist John Frederic Daniell invents the Daniell cell, which uses two metal electrodes and two electrolytes separated by a porous earthenware barrier to produce a longer-lasting and more reliable current than the voltaic cell.
1838 Prussian engineer Moritz von Jacobi builds a 28-ft electric paddle-wheel boat powered by zinc primary batteries (“primary” in the context of batteries means non-rechargeable). It is capable of transporting a dozen passengers against the current of the Neva River.
1842 Scottish inventor Robert Davidson builds the first full-size electric locomotive, Galvani, which travels at 4 mph using zinc primary batteries. Fearing competition from electric locomotives, steam engineers smash Galvani to pieces in its shed
1859 Building on experiments by Wilhelm Sinsteden, French physicist Gaston Planté demonstrates the first practical lead-acid battery. It is the first secondary battery, which means it can be recharged by passing a reverse current through it.
1861 Scottish mathematician James Clerk Maxwell reduces electromagnetic knowledge to an elegant series of equations.
1867 Austrian inventor Franz Kravogl demonstrates an electric bicycle at the World Exposition in Paris, but it can’t drive reliably, and is regarded as a curiosity.
1878 Amédée Bollée produces 50 copies of his steam car, La Mancelle, making it the first automobile put into “mass” production.
1879 Rotating a copper disk by manually switching the direction of current in an electromagnet, English physicist Walter Baily demonstrates the basic principle of induction motors.
1881 French electrical engineer Gustave Trouvé fits an electric motor to a tricycle, making the first manned electric road vehicle.
1881 The first electric tramway is built by Siemens & Halske in Lichterfelde, a suburb of Berlin. Each car is propelled by a 4-kW DC motor powered by the rails.
1882 The Electromote, also built by Siemens & Halske, is the first electric vehicle to be run like a trolleybus, with electric power supplied by overhead cables.
1885 Italian physicist Galileo Ferraris builds the first induction motor.
1886 Karl Benz builds the Benz Patent-Motorwagen, the first automobile with a gasoline-powered ICE. In 1888, his wife Bertha and their two sons drive 60 mi to visit her mother, the first long-distance road trip in an automobile. Along the way, Bertha invents brake pads.
1886 Frank Julian Sprague invents regenerative braking. By turning the motor into a generator, an electric vehicle can be slowed down. The energy generated can be used to recharge the battery and increase range.
1887 Nikola Tesla independently invents and patents the induction motor.
1888 German inventor Andreas Flocken develops the Flocken Elektrowagen, the first electric car to be widely known.
1891 Russian engineer Mikhail Dolivo-Dobrovolsky invents the socalled “squirrel-cage” induction motor, a popular design still in use today.
1896 In the first American automobile track race, an electric car wins all five heats.
1897 The Columbia Electric Phaeton Mark III is the first electric car produced in non-trivial numbers.
December 18, 1898 Automobiles have become fast enough that French automobile magazine La France Automobile holds a contest to establish an official world record for land speed. A French electric car, the Jeantaud Duc, driven by Count Gaston de ChasseloupLaubat, sets the first official land speed record of 39.24 mph. Electric cars continue to dominate automobile races throughout 1899
1899 Swedish inventor Waldemar Jungner invents the nickelcadmium battery, with nickel and cadmium electrodes in a potassium hydroxide solution (the first alkaline electrolyte). While it has better energy density than lead-acid, it is also much more expensive.
April 29, 1899 The first vehicle of any kind to reach 60 mph is an electric car, La Jamais Contente (“The Never Satisfied”), driven by Le Diable Rouge (“The Red Devil”), Camille Jenatzy, so-named for the color of his beard. The car has an aerodynamic, torpedo-shaped body made of aluminum alloy, although much of the aerodynamic benefit is ruined by the driver sticking out the top. Driven by two 25-kW motors, it tops out at 65.8 mph. While this record will hold for the next three years, it is the last general speed record set by an electric car—all later land speed records are set by internal combustion, steam, or turbojet engines.
1899 Henri Pieper of Germany develops a parallel hybrid car, which uses an electric motor to supplement the power provided by its weak ICE and batteries charged by the engine while coasting and descending hills. The Pieper parallel hybrid starts in electric mode, making it the first ICE vehicle with an electric starter. This is important because until the advent of the self-starter in the early twentieth century, most ICE vehicles rely on hand cranking to start the engine. Hand cranking is a dirty process and presents a non-trivial risk of breaking your arm if the engine backfires, a risk you must face every time you want to start your car.
1899 Vedovelli, Priestley & Co. develops a series hybrid car, which tows a 0.75-hp ICE coupled to a 1.1-kW generator in order to recharge the batteries on the go and extend range.