You might think that electric cars are something of a modern innovation, a result of the increasing awareness towards environmental safety. However, the idea – and creation – of cars powered by electricity has been around for more than 100 years.
Though it’s difficult to know the exact inventor or definitive birthplace of the electric car, a series of innovations and inventions that sprung up in the 1800s provide us with a background to at least how the earliest forms of electric cars came about.
Clearly, the timeline of electric cars shows that there are both fallow and boom periods for this alternative means of travel. So, while it’s difficult to prove exactly where the electric car is headed, there are certain things we can identify that suggest its direction later down the line.
We should at least see a move towards less expensive models. Recently, much research has gone into making electric cars as affordable as petrol-powered ones, while longer-lasting batteries that minimise the need for charging are also being investigated.
Solid-state batteries are becoming an increasing focus due to their being cheaper, lighter and without the need for liquid cooling. Though longer-lasting and fireproof, we shouldn’t expect them anytime soon; companies have only just invested in plants to manufacture the batteries that are being used today. Solid-state ones still have a way to go.
Elsewhere, charge points are another bone of contention. They can be scarce, and often have long queues to use them. The solution? Some people point to inductive charge-pads under the road surface so vehicles can charge as they drive. It sounds improbable, but Renault has demonstrated such a thing with Qualcomm and its wireless charging capabilities, so the realities aren’t so far away.
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