The car that cares

Automakers have been tinkering with electric cars for a century

In 1912, a machine invented by Kettering, one of the founders of Dayton Engineering Laboratories...

In 1912, a machine invented by Kettering, one of the founders of Dayton Engineering Laboratories Co. — Delco — appeared on a Cadillac. As a substitute of an iron hand crank, a smaller, high-torque electric powered motor, operated by a twist of a essential, turned the crankshaft and begun the engine. By the mid-nineteen twenties, the electric powered self-starter was common on almost each and every car. Steam- and battery-powered autos pale absent.

The electric powered motor that drove these early EVs, even though, did not vanish from cars. Effectively, it obtained a demotion. Even though the inner combustion engine became the favored way to drive the wheels, smaller motors inevitably would be employed to function windshield wipers, heater lovers and radiator lovers increase and reduce home windows go seats back and forth and up and down and electric power dozens of other features.

Right after World War II, when battery technological know-how improved, automakers yet again started tinkering with returning the electric powered motor to its original mission: driving the wheels.

Now, after a century of fits and commences, the era of the electric powered vehicle appears to have lastly arrived.

It is been a extensive street back. Here’s a seem at some historic EVs from major automakers and other folks designed in the write-up-World War II era.


1959 Henney Kilowatt
Applied a Renault Dauphine entire body and an electric powered drivetrain powered by lead-acid batteries
Prime pace: 60 mph
Array: About 60 miles
Number designed: 47
Notable: The electric powered motor was created by vacuum cleaner maker Eureka.