Electric Cars

Posted on March 8, 2007  Comments (6)

photo of NSF Science Cafe March 2007

The March NSF Cafe Scientifique meeting was about Electric Cars. The presenters were from the Electric Vehicle Association of DC (that site has quite a few links on this topic). In the talk the presenters mentioned Ford had produced electric cars in the 1920’s. PBS on Timeline on Electric Car History:

1893 – A handful of different makes and models of electric cars are exhibited in Chicago.
1897 – The first electric taxis hit the streets of New York City early in the year. The Pope Manufacturing Company of Connecticut becomes the first large-scale American electric automobile manufacturer.
1899 – Believing that electricity will run autos in the future, Thomas Alva Edison begins his mission to create a long-lasting, powerful battery for commercial automobiles. Though his research yields some improvements to the alkaline battery, he ultimately abandons his quest a decade later.
1900 – The electric automobile is in its heyday. Of the 4,192 cars produced in the United States 28 percent are powered by electricity, and electric autos represent about one-third of all cars found on the roads of New York City, Boston, and Chicago.

1893 was the famous Chicago World’s fair where the first Ferris Wheel was constructed and the American Society for Engineering Education was formed (I work for ASEE now). Photo by John Hunter shows a partial view of the meeting space, which is held inside the NSF headquarters.

Related: EV WorldNSF Cafe Scientifique: Arlington, VirginaCafé Scientifique Directory

6 Responses to “Electric Cars”

  1. Galen Handy
    April 9th, 2007 @ 4:41 am

    My electric car time-line is way better then the one you have from PBS, Check it out.
    Regards, Galen

  2. Curious Cat » Car Powered Using Compressed Air
    February 24th, 2008 @ 11:11 pm

    The car is said to have a driving range of 125 miles so by my calculation it would cost about 1.6 cents per mile. A car that gets 31 mpg would use 4 gallons to go 124 miles. At $3 a gallon for gas, the cost is $12 for fuel or about 9.7 cents per mile…

  3. No name provided
    March 7th, 2008 @ 10:12 am

    Your projected mileage estimation sounds ok, but you should be living in the UK, here we are talking of close to $12 a gallon and still due for another price rise, unless you can invent a car that runs on water?? I think I will keep my bike.

  4. Curious Cat Science and Engineering Blog » Aptera Prototype - Over 230 Miles Per Gallon
    August 11th, 2008 @ 11:18 pm

    They have a goal to begin production in 2008 and initially the Aptera will be available only in California. It is classified as a motorcycle but they are planning to aim for passenger car safety standards…

  5. Anonymous
    December 7th, 2008 @ 4:21 am

    Until electric cars can be made to have better range, and comparable safety features to gasoline cars, and a solid charging infrastructure is in place to support them. they will not be widely adopted. An EV charging network is being built in California, so I am encouraged.

  6. Erin Jones
    June 25th, 2011 @ 8:13 pm

    this is i great little time line. its simple but has some interesting information. maby we could see an updated post on this in the future about the more recent upraise in electric vehicles

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