The history of electric cars stretches all the way back as far as the origins of the motor industry. Since the introduction of the Flocken Elektrowagen in 1888, electric cars have come a long way. Some have even left the planet like the lunar rovers used in the Apollo 15, 16 and 17 mission or the Tesla Roadster that left the earth earlier this year.
Electric cars over the decades have had a turbulent time often growing and capturing public interest before rapidly disappearing as other technologies have become more practical and cost effective. Despite the stop and start of the industry, Electric cars have captured both the public and innovators imaginations over the decades.
For the last 15 years though, electric cars have experienced the biggest jump in both popularity and necessity. As populations continue to grow massively, climate change starting to have a big impact and the dwindling world resources, there has never been a more important time for electric vehicles to succeed. The signs are definitely looking good with 4 million plugs in electric vehicles in global stock as of September 2018.
The combination of developments in technology combined with new innovations such as self-driving and autonomous vehicles is helping to drive forward the appeal. In the past electric vehicles have had issues in regards to performance, lack of charging infrastructure, costs, storage issues and bad designs. Thankfully this has changed dramatically and has led to a more forward-thinking motor industry fuelled with a desire to make electric succeed and a more competitive global market including motorsports as well.
It has also given time to allow new innovation s to fully develop and bear fruit. In 1970, VW established a ‘Future Research’ division that was solely focused on the drive technologies of tomorrow. Two years after the team was formed, the Volkswagen Transport complete with electric drive system was unveiled and the rest is as they say history.
Fast forward to today and Volkswagen has made it clear that are as focused as ever to move into electric vehicle production. Currently there are a range of full electric vehicles such as the new e-Golf and the e-Up! on sale today along with hybrids versions that also include the Passat GTE and Golf GTE. In the next few years, VW will hope to have several fully electric vehicles enter the market under the I.D. range including a new twist on an iconic VW classic.
The I.D. range will also include the I.D. Neo, Crozz, Vizzon and will hopefully start to hit the road in 2020. As you can see from the video, it’s not just about adding electric motors into a car, it's about enhancing driving to be more experiential through technology. Vehicles that can meet any purpose required of the user and that is customisable.
We can’t wait to see what happens as we get closer to the launch of the I.D. range. It could be the most significant evolution of electric cars to date and that should get us all buzzing.