Electric cars have been under development since the 19th century. The first electric was invented in the year 1828 by Ányos Jedlik from Hungary. Since then electric motor industry has seen it’s fair share of ups and downs.
At one point in history London and New York had a couple of companies running electric taxis on the streets. Around the same time the rich and elite of the cities used electric vehicles for their city commute. These were mostly luxurious coach cars featuring interiors made from rich and exquisite materials.
Fast forward a couple of years, petroleum driven cars saw a marked rise due to many technological developments such as the electric starter motor which stopped the need for manual cranking and the muffler which reduced engine noise.
The internal combustion engine cars became fairly cheap to run due to many oil reserves being discovered all over the world. They also possessed a higher top speed and were able to last for longer distances than their electric counterparts. Hence the development and production of electrically driven cars was ceased and the technology remained suspended.
Coming on to recent times, electric cars have been revived and have been improved upon massively. This has been greatly due to environmental reasons and the lack of oil reserves. The one company which has had the largest impact in the electric industry has been Tesla. Their first model, the Tesla Roadster was basically a Lotus Elise which was being run on an electric motor.
Tesla has since gone on to produce many electric vehicles which have been pretty successful thanks to a practical range and higher top speeds. The company has also laid down a network of supercharging stations in many cities over the world which charge the car to full power in about 75 mins making the EVs even more usable.
Now taking on a more local perspective, the Indian automotive market has never been behind the electric as such. Currently Mahindra is the only company which actually sells electric cars, there is the the E2O Plus and the E Verito.
The E2O Plus is basically a G Wiz which was made by an Indian company called REVAi but was mainly made for being exported.
However, it is a new day and the race of the electric vehicles is officially underway if the 2018 Auto Expo is anything to go by. A huge lot of the vehicles on display were EVs with Mahindra and Tata leading the pack showcasing around half a dozen of electric vehicles.
The Tesla Model 3 will also be heading for Indian shores soon. The car will be able to last for 480 km on full charge and will probably cost around 20-25 lakhs.
BMW has also been manufacturing hybrid EVs such as thee i8 and i3. The two cars are very different to each other, the i8 is a proper sports coupe while the i3 is more of a small hatchback best suited for the city.
The i8 is available in India and the i3 will be following soon. Both of these cars carry an eye watering price tag along with them, the i8 costs 2.62 Cr while the i3 will be coming in at around 30 lakhs.
Many other major car manufacturers have been producing a lot of hybrid and completely electric vehicles. All of us are aware of the success of the Toyota Prius, Nissan Leaf and many others. Porsche, Ferrari and McLaren have produced hybrids, the 918, LaFerrari and P1.
These are performance focused hypercars which take a technology generally normally resulting in boring and bland cars to make the most exciting and exhilarating machines which are a farcry from a Prius.
Whether its hypercars or green cars being produced, the use of electricity as a driving force for cars is definitely on the rise. More and more car companies are researching and developing EVs each year.
Our hydrocarbon reserves are bound to run out and alternative technologies such as electric vehicles might be the only way to experience the thrill of a drive in the future. If the development of hybrids and purely electric vehicles is any indication the future is bound to be dominated by wheels being run by a battery. So going electric is the only way forward and it might not be such a bad thing after all.