Battery Electric Vehicles or BEVs, predated the interior Combustion Engine (ICE) vehicles. It was between 1832-1839 that Robert Anderson, a Scottish entrepreneur, invented the first electric carriage and Mentor Sibrandus Stratingh from the Netherlands designed the first small-scale electric car which was built by his admin Christopher Becker in 1835.
The storage battery improved, firstly by Gaston Planté, a French physicist who invented the lead acid cell in 1859 and the first normal rechargeable battery. Then, in 1881, Camille Faure developed a more efficient and reliable battery which became so successful in the early electric cars. This discovery caused battery electric vehicles to flourish, with England and Britain TMS320F28375DZWTT being the first nations to support widespread development of electric vehicles.
Prior to 1900, battery electric vehicles held many speed and distance records, the most known which, was the breaking of the 100 km/h (60 mph) speed barrier. It was by Camille Jenatzy on April 29, 1899 in a rocket-shaped vehicle named Jamais Contente (Never Happy) which reached a top-notch speed of 105. 88 km/h (65. 79 mph).
During the early the twentieth Century, battery electric vehicles outsold petrol powered vehicles and were successfully sold as town cars to upper-class customers. Because of technological limitations, these cars were limited to a top-notch speed of approximately 32 km/h (20 mph). The cars were marketed as “suitable vehicles for girls drivers”. Electric vehicles did not need hand-cranking to start.
One of the pitfalls of the battery electric vehicle was the introduction of the electric basic in 1913. It basic the position of starting an internal combustion engine which was previously difficult and dangerous to begin with the prank handle. Another was the mass-produced and relatively cheap Honda Model-T. Finally, losing Edisons direct current energy transmission system. He was struggling with George Westinghouse and Nikola Tesla over their desire to introduce alternating current as the principal electricity distribution. Edison’s direct current was the stress for electric engines.
Battery electric vehicles were limited to niche applications. Forklift trucks were battery electric vehicles when introduced in 1923. BEV golf carts which are used as neighborhood electric vehicles and were somewhat “street legal”. By the late 1930s, the electric automobile industry had faded prior to the creation of the point contact transistor in 1947 which started a new era of electric vehicle.
In 1959 the Henney Kilowatt was introduced and was the world’s first modern transistor-regulated electric car and the precursor to the more recent battery electric vehicles such as General Engines EV1. Only 47 Henney Kilowatts were produced, 24 being sold as 1959 models and 8 as 1960 models. It is not clear what happened to the other 15 built but it could be possible that they were sold as 1961 or 1962 models. None of the 8 1960 models were sold to the public because of the high manufacturing costs, but were sold to the electric cooperatives who funded the project.
Around there are between four and eight Henney Kilowatt battery electric vehicles still in existence with at least two of the survivors still driven periodically.
Battery electric vehicles have had issues with high battery costs, with limited travel miles, with charging time and the life expectancy of the battery, although advancements in battery technology has addressed many of those problems.
At the present time, controversy reigns over battery electric vehicles. Campaigners, (et al) for BEV’s are accusing three major US automobile manufacturers of by choice sabotaging BEV efforts through several methods, for instance, failing to market, failing to produce appropriate vehicles, by failing to meet up with demand and using lease-only programs with prohibitions against end of rent purchase.
In their defense, the three major manufacturers they have responded that they only make what the public want and the current trend is that the public doesn’t want battery electric vehicles.
Although we have the technology to manufacture and provide BEVs, one of the biggest pitfalls for the high profile production of BEVs is the expensive cost of replacement batteries. In some cases the cost of replacement batteries can be more than the price of the whole vehicle, particularly when buying used battery electric vehicles.