Here at EVision we are excited to be celebrating World EV Day and everything that is amazing about electric vehicles. Electric vehicles have been around for longer than you may think. There are also some interesting facts about electric vehicles that you may not know.
So, for World EV Day we will take you through some interesting items you may not know or may have forgotten.
A Brief History of Electric Vehicles
Electric vehicles are all the rage now, but did you know that the very first electric vehicles actually pre-day the petrol car?
Whereas the first vehicle powered by petroleum was commercialised is 1864, electric vehicles have been around since between 1832 and 1839 when Scottish inventor, Robert Anderson, invented an electric carriage.
Electric vehicles were also more popular than petrol vehicles until the early 1900’s when petrol became a more viable option for the time. Unfortunately the early electric vehicle died out as far as commercial use was concerned.
Electric Vehicles and World War 1
Something that even we at EVision Electric Vehicles found to be surprising was the fact that electric ambulances and other transport vehicles were used during the Great War.
Despite pretty much dying out commercially, the electric vehicle technology found a bit of a resurgence during the war. In large part, this was due to the vastly inflated prices of petrol at the time, as well as the ability to access the required fuel.
How do we know this? Well, at an event that took place at a World War 1 airfield in 2019, EVision was lucky enough to have been placed next to an original electric ambulance from the period. The insides were very rudimentary compared to today’s electric vehicles, but it was absolutely fascinating to see.
Tesla Was Not the First Modern Electric Vehicle Manufacturer
Yes, it’s true. When people think of the birth of the modern electric vehicle, the name “Tesla” is what automatically springs to mind. However, if you go back to the mid 1990’s you will find that General Motors produced an electric car called the EV1. There is a good reason why you may not have heard of it though.
The EV1 was an incredibly popular car. It was so popular in fact that even big name celebrities owned the vehicle and have spoken about it with fondness. Tom Hanks, Mel Gibson, Alexandra Paul and Ed Begley Jr rank amongst the star studded owners and fans of the car. So what happened to it?
The EV1 Conspiracy Theory
Well, if you like conspiracy theories then you will love this story. An oil company (you can look it up) invested a large amount of money into General Motors. Once this happened, the oil company is said to have wanted to eliminate any competition. So, from that point on General Motors recalled every EV1 (or so they thought) and had them destroyed. And by destroyed, I mean they were shredded into tiny pieces.
The reason that it was so easy for GM to recall all the vehicles was because they were only available on a lease at the time. None were actually sold to the owners. So, despite their growing popularity, the General Motors EV1 was no more. It wasn’t until Tesla came along, with no influence by oil companies, who then brought the electric vehicles back into the mainstream.
You Can Find Electric Vehicles in Space
The standard internal combustion engine does not work in space so, therefore, the lunar rovers used by American astronauts in the early 1970’s have been powered by batteries. At least one of these rovers is still on the moon having been left behind on the Apollo 17 mission.
Although technically not a car, you will also find remote vehicles on Mars that have been used for many scientific purposes, such as sampling the Martian soil. The vehicles, named Sojourner, Spirit, Opportunity, Curiosity, and Perseverance are still on the red planet.
Should you find yourself in space, don’t be surprised if you find yourself being overtaken by a Tesla Roadster! Yes, one of Elon Musk’s revolutionary Roadster cars was sent into space in February 2018 and is reportedly on its third orbit of the Sun.
Celebrities Love Electric Vehicles!
When you hire an electric vehicle from EVision Electric Vehicles, you will be joining a whole host of famous people who love driving EVs.
Arnold Schwarzenegger, Matt Damon and Leonardo DiCaprio all drive Tesla Roadsters. Justin Bieber and Leonardo DiCaprio (again) drive a Fisker Karma. Ben Affleck and Brad Pitt can be seen in a Tesla Model S. And Robert Downey Jr owns an Audi e-tron.
Robert Downey Jr was seen driving an Audi e-tron in the film Avengers Endgame. An interesting fact is that motorcar sounds were added to the film when you see the car being driven. Despite being silent, the film makers thought it would add to the car’s power perception on screen. Strange, I know.
A Few Final Words
As you can see, electric vehicles already have a long, rich and interesting history. The fact that electric vehicles are so fun and are having such an important impact on the world means that they deserve a day for reverence. So, on September 9th we will doff our caps to these amazing machines and their creators. Long may they continue to make us smile.