History of Electric Cars

  • First Crude Electric Vehicle Is Developed

    Around 1832, Robert Anderson develops the first crude electric vehicle, but it isn't until the 1870s or later that electric cars become practical. Pictured here is an electric vehicle built by an English inventor in 1884.
  • First Electric Vehicle Debuts in U.S.

    William Morrison, from Des Moines, Iowa, creates the first successful electric vehicle in the U.S. His car is little more than an electrified wagon, but it sparks an interest in electric vehicles. This 1896 advertisement shows how many early electric vehicles were not much different than carriages.
  • World's First Hybrid Electric Car Is Invented

    Ferdinand Porsche, founder of the sports car by the same name, creates the Lohner-Porsche Mixte -- the world's first hybrid electric car. The vehicle is powered by electricity stored in a battery and a gas engine.
  • Edison Takes on Electric Vehicle Batteries

    Many innovators take note of the electric car’s high demand, exploring ways to improve the technology. For example, Thomas Edison thought electric vehicles were the superior mode of transportation and worked to build a better battery.
  • Silicon Valley Startup Takes on Electric Cars

    Tesla Motors, a Silicon Valley startup, announces it will produce a luxury electric sports car with a range of 200+ miles. Other automakers take note, accelerating work on their own electric vehicles.