In an enlightening Ted-Ed lesson written by Gil Tal and Daniel Sperling of UC Davis that was animated by Lobster Studio, narrator Jack Cutmore-Scott explains the long and surprising history of electric cars.
While many believe that electric cars are a newer invention, it turns out that when the car was first invented there was an electric option. These cars were quieter and cleaner than other vehicles of the time, but they were expensive and the short battery life made them difficult to maintain. As car production grew greater and oil became more affordable, the idea of electric cars went by the wayside, however, in more recent times, the demand for non-petroleum fueled cars has skyrocketed. Perhaps electric cars will become the norm rather than the exception in the days to come.
By the end of the 19th century, nearly 40% of American cars were electric. But these vehicles had a few major problems — early car batteries were expensive and inefficient, and the vehicles were twice the price of a gas-powered car. And so for the next several decades, gas-powered cars dominated the market. Can electric cars reclaim their place on the road?