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Silvretta Classic 2010 - History of Electric Cars: In the Current of Time

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Silvretta Classic - history of electric cars
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Z u At the beginning of the 20th century, the Stromer in no way hide from their fellow burners. Yes, they were often even ahead of them. Camille Jenatzy was the first to break the 100 km /h mark in 1899 with his cigar-shaped La jamais contente (The Never Satisfied).

The first Porsche - an electric car

Ferdinand Porsche, all of us Known as a brilliant Beetle designer and legendary sports car maker, he started his career with the construction of an electric and hybrid car for Lohner. Anyone who talks eloquently about wheel hub motors and range extenders today - Porsche invented this over 110 years ago. Even the then extremely exotic front-wheel drive could already be found in the electric cars.

The glaring range advantage of the combustion engine was not yet effective. The petrol station network was thin, the combustion engines extremely inefficient and loud, and the performance of the engines was low. At the beginning of the last century, some electric vehicles had a range of up to 80 kilometers. With a maximum output of around four to five kilowatts, this was no great surprise.

Biggest challenge: Energy storage in rechargeable batteries

But even then, rechargeable batteries (lead at the time) proved to be stubborn because they were heavy, difficult to charge and difficult to develop. So the electric car was bobbing around for decades, completely meaningless. There were always attempts to help it gain broader acceptance, but on the basis of lead batteries with their poor energy density and thus range, there was no chance. Nevertheless, BMW showed an electrically powered 1602 for the Olympic Games in Munich in 1972, and VW presented a Golf I as an electric test vehicle in 1976. As early as 1983, auto motor und sport wrote about the possibility of using electric car batteries as a buffer for excess night-time electricity from power plants.

1990 the second electric spring should follow. The main trigger was the California Zero Emission Vehicle Act. By 2003 it stipulated at least 200,000 locally emission-free cars and ensured that the combustion engine warehouse was hectic.

Promising concepts in everyday use

GM presented the Impact, BMW the E1, Volkswagen the City Stromer and Mercedes converted a Mercedes 190 to run on electricity. However, the Californian project had to be due to a lack of feasibilityare gradually withdrawn. And even if after the famous film 'Who killed the electric car?' wild conspiracy legends formed, the real reason is quite banal: The batteries were still far too bad. In 1990, a Japanese consumer electronics company laid the foundation stone for the electric car to be on the road to success 30 years later: Sony brought the lithium-ion battery onto the market.

Only a short time later, Nissan announced that research on a car battery for the future would be based on this particularly energy-dense battery. With this in mind, it is not surprising that Nissan is getting into real mass production so early with its e-car Leaf. Ferdinand Porsche's range extender idea is experiencing its renaissance with the Chevrolet Volt.

Hybrid pioneers Audi and Toyota - the world market leader in the field of hybrid cars

We have long since got used to hybrid models. In 1997, Toyota and Audi were still head-to-head for this technology, but Toyota is now the clear world market leader. In its 13-year history, the Prius has changed the car more than few models before it.

One thing is now clear: the electrification of cars can no longer be stopped. How quickly and in what way it comes against it remains exciting. General Motors, Honda, Mercedes and Toyota have been working on fuel cell drives as a long-term solution for decades. The experts are still arguing about their chance. After all, there is still no network of hydrogen filling stations. But petrol stations also lacked combustion engines more than 100 years ago.

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