SPECIAL REPORT: Future Shock – EV Milestones -

SPECIAL REPORT: Future Shock – EV Milestones

The Electric Vehicle (EV) Has Been a Part of American Automotive History For More than 100 Years

Important milestones kicked off more than a century of the EV’s struggling evolution on the timeline of American automotive history:

— 1891: William Morrison of Des Moines, IA, builds the first electric car in the United States.

— 1897: The Pope Manufacturing Company of Connecticut becomes the first large-scale manufacturer of electric automobiles in America, and the first electric taxis begin operating in New York City.

— 1899: Thomas Edison embarks on a quest to create a long-lasting battery for commercial automobiles. (A decade later, he abandons his efforts.)

— 1900: EVs are an important part of the American automotive landscape. Of the 4,192 cars produced in the United States, 28% are powered by electricity.

— 1908: Henry Ford introduces the gasoline-powered Model T, making a powerful impact on the American automotive market.

— 1920s: The EV’s popularity plummets, due to its lack of horsepower, a healthy supply of gasoline and the American consumer’s desire for longer distance automobiles.

— 1966: Congress introduces bills advocating EV use as a way to reduce air pollution.

— 1970s: A growing environmental movement, combined with rapidly climbing oil prices, sparks a revival in EV interest from both consumers and manufacturers.

— 1972: “Godfather of the Hybrid” Victor Wouk converts a 1972 Buick Skylark into the first full-powered, full-size hybrid vehicle for the 1970 Federal Clean Car Incentive Program, later killed in 1976 by the Environmental Protection Agency.

— 1974: At the Electric Vehicle Symposium in Washington, DC, Vanguard-Sebring debuts its CitiCar, which has a top speed of more than 30 mph and a range of 40 miles. Although in 1975, the company is the sixth-largest automaker in the United States, it is dissolved a few years later.

— 1975: The U.S. Postal Service launches a test program utilizing 350 electric jeeps from AM General, a division of AMC.

— 1976: Congress passes the Electric and Hybrid Vehicle Research, Development and Demonstration Act, intended to foster the development of hybrid-electric technologies.

— 1988: GM partners with California’s AeroVironment to design what would later become the EV1.

— 1997: Toyota introduces its Prius, the world’s first mass-produced and marketed gasoline/electric hybrid car, in Japan, selling almost 18,000 units during the first year.

— 1997-2000: Big car manufacturers produce a few thousand all-electric cars, such as Honda’s EV Plus, Ford’s Ranger pickup EV, Nissan’s Altra EV and Toyota’s RAV4 EV, to name a few. However, by the early 2000s, all major automakers’ all-electric production programs are discontinued.

— 2003: GM announces it won’t renew leases on its EV1 cars, citing difficulty in replacing repair parts. The company begins efforts to reclaim all its EV cars by 2004.

— 2004-2005: GM reclaims, crushes and recycles its EV1s, prompting electric vehicle enthusiasts to hold an unsuccessful 28-day “Don’t Crush” vigil that begins on Feb. 16, 2005.

— Present: A few pure EVs and plug-in hybrids are on the market in limited numbers. Due to rising oil prices and renewed public demand, the future looks promising for EVs once again.



You May Also Like

AAPEX Accepting Student Program Applications

AAPEX is offering two options for students to attend this year’s event.

AAPEX is dedicated to bringing the best talent to the automotive aftermarket industry, and as part of this initiative, is offering two options for students to attend this year’s event, as well as an opportunity for aftermarket companies to get involved in the program. 

The first option is the Student Sponsorship Program that invites students to apply to attend AAPEX for first-hand industry experience and networking opportunities. Students selected for participation will receive two days of learning, including access to all AAPEX training and general education sessions, as well as hosted functions. Participants will receive complimentary AAPEX registration, reception tickets, a three-night hotel stay in Las Vegas, and a food and transportation stipend. To apply, visit the Student Sponsorship Program. Applications are due by Thursday, Aug. 24. 

ASE Education Foundation Congratulates SkillsUSA Winners

Students from ASE-accredited programs were among the winners at the SkillsUSA competition last month in Atlanta, Georgia.

Mitchell 1 Names 2023 Educator of the Year

Ryan Washington, instructor at Community College of Baltimore County in Hunt Valley, Maryland, earned this distinction.

Standard Motor Products Continues Growth of VVT Program

Recently released Standard variable valve timing (VVT) sprockets are now available for another 8.8 million vehicles.

Hunter Engineering Partners with Lincoln Tech

New collaboration offers training for local techs and student career opportunities, including ADAS.

Other Posts

Celebrate Summer with Federated Facebook Contest

Federated will announce four lucky winners of a $50 gift card on each Friday in July and one grand prize winner of a $500 gift card on Aug. 4.

ASCEF Awards Scholarships to 28 Aspiring Automotive Students

The board of trustees awarded 34 scholarships to 28 students for a total of $18,000.

SMP Releases 156 New Part Numbers in June

This latest release provides new coverage in 61 different product categories.

ASE to Sponsor U.S. Auto Tech National Championship

The qualifying round ends on July 31, 2023.