Electric motor is nothing new: its birth dates back to the 1800s


Electric motor, electric vehicle, sustainability in electrics seem to be modern trends that are being discussed at length in our days, but its technology was not born recently.

The principle is the…electric coach

The first electric motor for automobiles made its appearance in the first half of the 19th century, with the electric coach built by Robert Anderson (1832 – 1839)

During the same years, Dutch professor Sibrandus Stratingh began designing the first electric car model, which was later brought to life by his collaborator Christopher Becker.

Between the 1860s and 1870s, after the first elements made by Anderson and Becker, experiments were conducted on the batteries of electric vehicles by the French engineers Gaston Planté and Camille Faure: with these innovations, the new electric cars made at the end of the 19th century were particularly competitive compared to the petrol or steam-powered vehicles of the time.

Electric cars were much more comfortable and practical due to the smoothness of driving and the absence of noise. 

The nations most active in the production and marketing of the first electric cars were England and France, followed by the United States: in New York, the most active city in experimenting with ecological vehicles, an all-electric taxi service started up in 1897.

Electric cars: the rise in the 20th century and the decline in the Industrial Revolution

In the early 1900s, the competition between petrol and electric cars was well balanced, so much so that major manufacturers such as The Vehicle Electric Company Detroit Electric and Baker Electric were able to match or surpass their petrol engine competitors.

Conventional electric vehicles were optimal for the road system of the time, with a range of around 50 km/h and speeds of no more than 40 km/h; their driveability, quietness and low maintenance requirements attracted the wealthy and middle-class classes to purchase them. 

But with the advent of the Second Industrial Revolution, the development of electric cars slowed down abruptly: during the years of the great industrial boom, the performance of petrol-powered cars improved significantly, with a combustion engine first and the introduction of the internal combustion engine later, leading these vehicles to become market leaders within a few years.

The return of the electric car: from the second half of the 20th century to the present day 

The electric car made a comeback on the international scene in the 1960s and 1970s thanks to assiduous campaigns by environmental movements and the oil crisis that led to rising petrol prices. However, the problem of low battery autonomy did not allow electric cars to take the lead away from internal combustion engines.

The interest in sustainable, electric mobility continued into the 1990s and was renewed in a major way in the early 2000s.

Nowadays, the battery range of electric cars gets tested on a daily basis and thanks to lithium batteries, electric cars are able to drive long distances on a single charge.