Electrically-powered cars have been in the news more and more in recent years but they have actually been around since the 1800s. In fact, between 1900 and 1912, a third of all vehicles on US roads were powered by electricity, However, when the internal combustion engine (ICE) improved in reliability and performance, electric cars were pushed into extinction as their performance stagnated. After the 1930s, there was little interest in such cars.
It would not be until the 21st century began that pure electric cars would make a comeback, although the hybrid powertrain which used an electric motor with an ICE debuted just as the 20th century was ending. The electrification of cars got underway and this decade will see a surge of models appearing as a number of companies have them in final stages of development.
The early electric cars have had limited performance which raised the question of whether one of the elements of driving pleasure – high performance – would eventually be lost.