English inventor Thomas Parker, who was responsible for innovations such as electrifying the London Underground, overhead tramways in Liverpool and Birmingham, and the smokeless fuel coalite, built the first practical production electric car in London in 1884.
German carmaker Porsche reveals that the first vehicle designed by its founder, Ferdinand Porsche, was an electric car built in 1898
In 1911, the first gasoline-electric hybrid car was released by the Woods Motor Vehicle Company of Chicago. The hybrid was a commercial failure, proving to be too slow for its price, and too difficult to service
Detroit electric built EV cars for over 30 years, producing 13,000 vehicles between 1907 and 1939.
After a decline in electric vehicles due to cheap petrol, problems with range and electric cars selling for almost double the price of conventional petrol powered vehicles, the 1940’s saw fuel starved nations experiment with possible solutions. This car was made by French firm Breguet Aviation and had a range of over 65 kilometers.
In 1959 the Henny Kilowatt was introduced to the American Market, it had a top speed of 60mph and a range of 60 miles. It was mainly sold to utility companies as more of a gimmick, an advert for electric utilities on wheels.
Built on the Isle of Wight and released in 1973, the Enfield 8000 is a cult classic, a 2-seater city car. The Enfield 8000 had a tubular chassis frame with aluminium body panels. It used suspension parts from the Hillman Imp, the doors were adapted from the Mini and the rear axle was derived from Reliant three-wheelers.
The electric car has had the distinction of being the first wheeled vehicle on the moon! The ‘Moon Buggy’ was developed by Boeing and Delco Electronics.
GM’s Urban Electric was not well known outside of auto shows and indeed never went into full-scale production. Released at the First Symposium On Low Pollution Power Systems Development in 1973 it had all the mod cons, including metallic paint and enough room for one and a half middle managers.
Built in 1977, this is yet another car that never made it out of the showrooms or from the look of it, Logans Run. Although it was one of the first cars designed to use energy regeneration braking and light weight lithium batteries. The passenger seats were inflatable and designed to be deflated for luggage space.
The EV1 by GM was the first mass-produced electric car of the modern era, built and made lease only to customers as an experiment to see if the EV market was buoyant enough for full scale World wide release. The car is shrouded in controversy and all but one working model is left, almost every car was recalled and crushed, even though owners had almost universally loved it. Electric car enthusiasts, environmental interest groups and former EV1 lessees accusing GM of self-sabotaging its electric car program to avoid potential losses in spare parts sales (sales forced by government regulations), while also blaming the oil industry for conspiring to keep electric cars off the road.
Released in Japan in 1997, the Toyota Prius was the first full hybrid low emission vehicle to make headlines as a main-stream option to the family gas-guzzler. High petrol prices in the US contributed to it selling over 3 million units by 2008 and the Prius is still a major player. In 2014, it was announced that it would be the first car to use wireless charging.
The Th!nk City is an electric city car that was produced by Norwegian carmaker Think Global, and production partner Valmet Automotive. It is a small two-seater/2+2-seater highway capable vehicle produced from 2008 to 2012, with a top speed of 110 kilometres per hour (68 mph), and an all-electric range of 160 kilometres (99 mi) on a full charge.
The REVAi or G-wiz as it’s known in the UK was manufactured by the Reva electric car company, this Indian manufacturer was named one of the top 50 most innovative companies of 2013.
This was the game changer, in 2009 Tesla released it’s Roadster, the electric car would no longer look like a milk float – it was fast, looked beautiful and had the kind of range that made petrol heads quake in their boots.
The Nissan LEAF, an acronym for Leading, Environmentally friendly, Affordable, Family car, released in 2010 it’s the world's best selling highway-capable all-electric car ever created. Global sales totaled 100,000 Leafs by mid January 2014, representing a 45% market share of worldwide pure electric vehicles sold since 2010. Winning a number of high profile awards, the car is great example of an ‘everyday’ EV.
The Tesla Model S is a success story having won won numerous awards and recognition such as the 2013 World Green Car of the Year, 2013 Motor Trend Car of the Year, Automobile Magazine's 2013 Car of the Year, Time Magazine Best 25 Inventions of the Year 2012 award, Consumer Reports' top-scoring car ever. It’s an electric car that doesn’t compromise on drive quality or range, being able to transverse over 300 miles on one charge. This is the future.
With a whole floor of high concept sustainable transport options the Eco Technology Show will is proud to present the UK’s First showing of the BMW i8 – an incredible electric super car that has to be seen to be believed – see the culmination of over 120 years of automotive history and register for a free ticket today!