First Electric Car
In December 2016, Norway became the first country where 5% of all registered passenger cars was a plug-in electric. When new car sales in Norway are breakdown by powertrain or fuel, nine of the top ten best-selling models in 2016 were electric-drive models. The Norwegian electric-drive segment achieved a combined market share of 40.2% of new passenger car sales in 2016, consisting of 15.7% for all-electric cars, 13.4% for plug-in hybrids, and 11.2% for conventional hybris. The highest-ever monthly market share for the plug-in electric passenger segment in any country was achieved in Norway in January 2017 with 37.5% of new car sales; the plug-in hybrid segment reached a 20.0% market share of new passenger cars, and the all-electric car segment had a 17.5% market share. Also in January 2017, the electrified passenger car segment, consisting of plug-in hybrids, all-electric cars and conventional hybrids, for the first time ever surpassed combined sales of cars with a conventional diesel or gasoline engine, with a market share of 51.4% of new car sales that month. For many years Norwegian electric vehicles have been subsidised by approximately 50%, and have several other benefits, such as use of bus lanes and free parking. Many of these perks have been extended to 2020. In February 2017 Consumer Reports named Tesla as the top American car brand and ranked it 8th among global carmakers.
First Electric Car
What's the Difference? A hybrid electric vehicle (or HEV for short) is a vehicle without the capacity to plug in but has an electric drive system and battery. It’s driving energy comes only from liquid fuel. Learn about the history of the hybrid — from the world’s first one to the world’s best selling one. A plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (also called a PHEV) is a vehicle with plug-in capability, and it can use energy for driving from either its battery or liquid fuel. Read about the first commercially available plug-in hybrid. An all-electric vehicle (often called a battery-electric vehicle, an electric vehicle, or an EV or AEV for short) is a vehicle that gets its energy for driving entirely from its battery and it must be plugged in to be recharged. Explore the evolution of the electric vehicle, covering everything from its early popularity to the middle ages to its revival today. A plug-in electric vehicle (or PEV) is any vehicle that can be plugged in (either a plug-in hybrid or an all-electric vehicle). Learn how plug-in electric vehicles could help us create a more sustainable future. Rebecca Matulka Rebecca Matulka is a former digital communications specialist for the Energy Department. In 2012, she joined the Energy.gov team, covering all things energy efficiency — from fuel cells and vehicle technologies to advancements in manufacturing and consumer energy efficiency tips. Previously, Rebecca worked at an environmental nonprofit, where she built the organization’s digital presence and spearheaded its rebranding efforts. More by this author
First Electric Car
A hybrid electric vehicle (or HEV for short) is a vehicle without the capacity to plug in but has an electric drive system and battery. It’s driving energy comes only from liquid fuel. Learn about the history of the hybrid — from the world’s first one to the world’s best selling one. A plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (also called a PHEV) is a vehicle with plug-in capability, and it can use energy for driving from either its battery or liquid fuel. Read about the first commercially available plug-in hybrid. An all-electric vehicle (often called a battery-electric vehicle, an electric vehicle, or an EV or AEV for short) is a vehicle that gets its energy for driving entirely from its battery and it must be plugged in to be recharged. Explore the evolution of the electric vehicle, covering everything from its early popularity to the middle ages to its revival today. A plug-in electric vehicle (or PEV) is any vehicle that can be plugged in (either a plug-in hybrid or an all-electric vehicle). Learn how plug-in electric vehicles could help us create a more sustainable future.
First Electric Car
The Tesla Model S ranked as the top selling plug-in electric car in North America during the first quarter of 2013 with 4,900 cars sold, ahead of the Chevrolet Volt (4,421) and the Nissan Leaf (3,695). European retail deliveries of the Tesla Model S began in Oslo in August 2013, and during its first full month in the market, the Model S ranked as the top selling car in Norway with 616 units delivered, representing a market share of 5.1% of all the new cars sold in the country in September 2013, becoming the first electric car to top the new car sales ranking in any country, and contributing to a record all-electric car market share of 8.6% of new car sales during that month. In October 2013, an electric car was the best selling car in the country for a second month in a row. This time was the Nissan Leaf with 716 units sold, representing a 5.6% of new car sales that month.
First Electric Car
Many innovators at the time took note of the electric vehicle’s high demand, exploring ways to improve the technology. For example, Ferdinand Porsche, founder of the sports car company by the same name, developed an electric car called the P1 in 1898. Around the same time, he created the world’s first hybrid electric car — a vehicle that is powered by electricity and a gas engine. Thomas Edison, one of the world’s most prolific inventors, thought electric vehicles were the superior technology and worked to build a better electric vehicle battery. Even Henry Ford, who was friends with Edison, partnered with Edison to explore options for a low-cost electric car in 1914, according to Wired.
Most electric car makers stopped production at some point in the 1910s. Electric vehicles became popular for certain applications where their limited range did not pose major problems. Forklift trucks were electrically powered when they were introduced by Yale in 1923. In Europe, especially the United Kingdom, milk floats were powered by electricity, and for most of the 20th century the majority of the world’s battery electric road vehicles were British milk floats. Electric golf carts were produced by Lektro as early as 1954. By the 1920s, the early heyday of electric cars had passed, and a decade later, the electric automobile industry had effectively disappeared. Michael Brian examines the social and technological reasons for the failure of electric cars in his book Taking Charge: The Electric Automobile in America.
In response to a lack of large-automaker participation in the electric car industry, a number of small companies cropped up in their place, designing and marketing electric cars for the public. In 1994, the REVA Electric Car Company was established in Bangalore, India, as a joint venture between the Maini Group India and AEV of California. After seven years of research and development, it launched the REVAi an all-electric small micro car, known as the G-Wiz i in the United Kingdom, in 2001. The car was powered by lead–acid batteries, and in January 2009, a new model was launched, the REVA L-ion. It is similar to the REVAi but powered by high performance lithium-ion batteries, which reduce the car’s curb weight. In many countries the REVAi does not meet the criteria to qualify as a highway-capable motor vehicle, and fits into other classes, such as neighborhood electric vehicle (NEV) in the United States and heavy quadricycle in Europe. The REVA sold more than 4,000 vehicles worldwide by March 2011 and was available in 26 countries. Sales in the UK, its main market, ended by late 2011. Production ended in 2012 and was replaced by the Mahindra e2o in 2013.
Years passed without a major revival in the use of electric cars. Fuel-starved European countries fighting in World War II experimented with electric cars (such as the British milk floats and the French Breguet Aviation car), but overall, while ICE development progressed at a brisk pace, electric vehicle technology stagnated. In the late 1950s, Henney Coachworks and the National Union Electric Company, makers of Exide batteries, formed a joint venture to produce a new electric car, the Henney Kilowatt, based on the European Renault Dauphine. The car was produced in 36-volt and 72-volt configurations; the 72-volt models had a top speed approaching 96 km/h (60 mph) and could travel for nearly an hour on a single charge. Despite the Kilowatt’s improved performance with respect to previous electric cars, consumers found it too expensive compared to equivalent gasoline cars of the time, and production ended in 1961.
Tesla’s announcement and subsequent success spurred many big automakers to accelerate work on their own electric vehicles. In late 2010, the Chevy Volt and the Nissan LEAF were released in the U.S. market. The first commercially available plug-in hybrid, the Volt has a gasoline engine that supplements its electric drive once the battery is depleted, allowing consumers to drive on electric for most trips and gasoline to extend the vehicle’s range. 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.
In response, traditional automakers like Ford, Mercedes-Benz, and Volkswagen are ramping up investment in the space. Volkswagen aims to make a production version of its all-electric ID concept car by 2020.AP/Michel Euler During the next few years, we will see a number of electric cars come to market from older automakers. Ford announced in January that it aims to offer 13 new electrified vehicles, including hybrids, within the next five years. One of the new vehicles it plans to launch will be a fully electric SUV with a range of at least 300 miles per charge. Mercedes and Volvo both plan to launch an all-electric car in 2019, and Volkswagen has said it aims to have a production version of its all-electric ID Concept SUV ready by 2020. Here’s a look at more electric cars coming by 2021.