The electric car story of yesterday, today and tomorrow is a fascinating and detailed thing.
While the rate of electric car adoption has exploded over the last decade, their history actually started in the 1800s.
Electric Vehicles (EVs) were released many years before Henry Ford’s Horseless Carriage (also known as Internal Combustion Engines, or ICE). Their technological impact on everyday life is undeniable. Modern EVs are faster, stronger, easier to operate and just more fun to drive than almost any gas-powered car.
The Wide Reaching Electric Car Influence
Many industries owe their very existence to the electric vehicle. Many other industries were taken to the next level by EV related research.
For example, the electric outboard motor widely used among boaters was developed in France – originally for powering electric cars. People tinkering with electrification directly impacted transportation via trains and trams as well.
The best kept secret, though, about EVs is their impact on conventional cars. Inspiration for many gas cars came from electric cars. Ferdinand Porsche (Yes, that Porsche) invented the first vehicle with all-wheel drive – it was 100% electric. Electric cars, made in Iowa in the 1890s, could carry up to 12 people, years before other power sources could. The gasoline car companies knew they had to steal these features if they were going to keep up.
Then came Henry Ford. Gasoline vehicles took over the lead – not because they were better, but because they were made cheaper due to the assembly line. Aiding Henry Ford was the perception that infrastructure for gas cars would be easier and cheaper to spread around the country than high voltage power lines. Electric vehicles remained superior, but more expensive.
That was the end of that. Internal Combustion had won, and there was nothing for EVs to do.
21st Century – A New Future Arises
Fast forward to 2003. A guy (Martin Eberhard) decides he wants a really high mileage, comfortable and insanely fast car. After looking around for a while, he decides to build his own. The team he built created what would become known as The Roadster – a fully electric car going 0-60 in 5.7 seconds, 221 miles on a charge, offered 200 pounds of torque – and started at over $100k.
Around the same time, another guy named Musk had gotten his part of the PayPal sale, and was looking for new investment opportunities. Musk didn’t really know much about Climate Change, and wasn’t sure it mattered. He had heard that there was a finite amount of oil and the US needed to stop being so dependent on it. Electrifying transportation was a national security and social issue worth solving.
How Eberhard and Musk met is not clear. But meet they did. Tesla was born and the gasoline makers were put on notice, “There’s a new kid in town.”
Tesla’s impact is undeniable. Many other companies have acknowledged the EV would still be a pipe dream – if not for Tesla. Every major automaker now offers at least 1 electric car, most have many EVs in development.
REVD UP is showing the real electric life
REV’D UP’s founders have had thousands of conversations with non-electric car drivers. The same reasons for not going electric – road trips, charging, cost, true environmental impact, maintenance – come up in every one of them.
The reality, though, is that none of these things should actually be considered for most Americans.
ChargePoint, EVGo, Tesla and many others have each heavily invested in expanding their charging networks. There are now enough chargers nationwide that road trips are feasible.
Many car companies have announced plans to have electric cars in their lineup at the same or lower price than a gasoline car within the next 5 years. Current EV drivers routinely report saving money after switching.
Gas engine drivers mostly think that people only go electric if they’re tree hugging hippies. The reality, though, is that Climate Change or Environmental Impact are among the least frequently cited reasons for switching. Most people change for the tech, the financial savings or other reasons.
Maintenance on electric vehicles is nearly non-existent. This is because electrics require no oil changes, no spark plug swapping, have 3 or 4 fluids to deal with and 400 fewer moving parts than non-electric vehicles.
Electric is the Future
Today, people drive and use electrics for all kinds of purposes – ranging from police work to road trips to car shows. School districts and cities are switching their busses to electric in mass. EVs from any brand are so amazing, economical and yet practical that over 1 MILLION (1,000,000) Americans have purchased one – and that number grows every day.
Many experts project that most people’s next vehicle will be mostly or fully electric – whether they know it now or not. REVD UP’s helping by removing the stigma around EVs by showing what the life is really like.