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In recent years, electric mobility has been enjoying significant successes: in fact, electric cars allow you to travel in a sustainable way without giving up the comfort of a private car. But what is the history of the electric car?

It is generally thought that the electric machine falls under the "new means of transport": in reality, not everyone knows that this vehicle has particularly ancient origins and is characterized by a history of more than 150 years full of surprises.

The first electric cars: projects in the nineteenth century

When was the first electric car born? To find out it is necessary to go back to the 30s, when the Scottish entrepreneur Robert Anderson he designed the first real horseless carriage: the first electric carriage (1832-1839). In the same years, more precisely in 1835, the Dutch Professor Sibrandus Stratingh began designing the first electric car model, below created by his collaborator Christopher Becker.

Following the attempts of Anderson and Becker, between the 60s and 70s, constant experimentation on electric vehicle batteries was carried out by French engineers Gaston Planté e Camille Faure: thanks to these innovations, the new electric cars created at the end of the nineteenth century were particularly competitive when compared to traditional petrol or steam models.

In fact, if steam and petrol cars showed various problems regarding engine starting, overheating and the excessive emission of fumes and unpleasant noises, electric cars were much more comfortable and practical thanks to the simplicity of driving and the absence of noise. Suffice it to say that the speed record that broke the 100 km/h barrier was set in 1899 by the Belgian pilot Camille Jenatzy with his rocket-shaped electric vehicle, The Never Happy.

The nations most active in the production and marketing of the first electric cars were England and France, followed by the United States which in 1900 recorded approximately 1/3 of the cars circulating in New York and Chicago being electrically powered. In fact, New York was the most active city in experimenting with eco-friendly transport with the launch of an exclusively electric urban taxi service in 1897.

Electric cars: the brief success in the twentieth century

At the beginning of the 900th century, the challenge between petrol vehicles and electric cars appeared well balanced, especially when compared to the present day: in fact, the major manufacturers of electric vehicles, such as Detroit electricBaker Electric e The Vehicle Electric Company, were able to match or surpass competitors specializing in the marketing of internal combustion vehicles.

Traditional electric vehicles, despite having a range of around 50 km/h and reaching speeds no higher than 40 km/h, were perfect for urban circulation and they were the first choice of the bourgeois and wealthy classes. For what reason? For their ease of drivinglow need for maintenance and their noise. Furthermore, thanks to their unparalleled driving simplicity, electric cars were labeled as perfect vehicles for the female gender.

It was precisely at the beginning of the twentieth century that a first form of sustainable mobility for all intents and purposes: it was a car sharing of electric cars in the main European cities which allowseva to rent the vehicle for a certain period of time to move around the city.

But, with the advent of Second Industrial Revolution, the development of electric cars was destined to suffer a sharp slowdown, in favor of petrol cars with internal combustion engines. In fact, during the years of the great industrial boom the performance of petrol cars was significantly improved, leading these vehicles to become market leaders in just a few years.

Second Industrial Revolution and boom in petrol vehicles

Starting from the 20s, continuous technological innovation and the discovery of new oil deposits (with consequent lowering of the price of petrol) brought petrol vehicles to the fore.

Furthermore, in recent years a series of factors played in favor of the development of internal combustion cars compared to electric ones:

  • The mufflers of petrol cars were silenced with silencers specially created;
  • La diffusion of the electric starter motor replaced the inconvenient crank ignition;
  • The introduction of the heat sink solved the overheating problem.

Later, petrol cars experienced further positive development thanks to the introduction of the internal combustion engine and mass production. After these developments, electric cars were no longer able to compete with the performance of petrol ones and became "niche" vehicles: in fact, the electric car was mostly used in particular sectors in which speed was not a priority (electric trolleysevabulls, movement in railway stations and vehicles for door-to-door services).

From the second half of the 900th century to the present day: a new interest in the electric car

Electric cars returned to the international scene in the 60s and 70s thanks to the increasingly assiduous battles of ecological movements and thanks to oil crisis which led to the increase in petrol prices. Precisely for this reason, the main international car manufacturers began working on improving electric cars. But the problem of poor battery autonomy did not allow electric cars to question the primacy of internal combustion ones.

Even in the 90s, electric mobility was the protagonist of many initiatives as the constant oil crisis and the climate change (also caused by excessive CO2 emissions from cars) were particularly hot topics.

Interest in sustainable and electric mobility was significantly renewed at the beginning of the 2000s: in fact, during the new millennium climate issues have played an increasingly central role due to the damage caused to the environment by fossil fuels and gas greenhouse.

Precisely for this reason, most international car manufacturers are constantly working on the development of new technologies capable of optimizing sustainable transport. The autonomy of electric car batteries is tested and optimized daily: in fact, in recent years, thanks to lithium batteries, electric cars are able to travel even particularly long distances without the need for any recharging.

Electric cars and sustainable mobility: electric car sharing E-VAI

If buying an electric car is a sustainable choice, choosing to use electric car sharing is even more so. This is the example of E-VAI, the only one electric car sharing active within the Lombardy Region which combines e-mobility and shared mobility with the aim of optimizing regional travel by reducing Co2 emissions into the atmosphere.

The electric cars of E-VAI they are the ideal choice for moving between cities, extra-urban areas, airports and railway hubs: E-VAI it is the only car sharing integrated with the Lombardy railway service.

With the cars of E-VAI furthermore, you can move freely within historic centres, limited traffic zones and car parks with blue lines.

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