PHOTO CAPTION: 1914 Detroit Electric a century after it first hit the streets.

Are Electric Cars Ready for Center Stage After Century Waiting in the Wings?

Ford researchers found there are more than 270,000 electric cars on the roads of the world, yet they are still relatively unknown to most people, writes Andy Scarre.

Published: 16-Jan-2014

If you picked up a paper and read a quote that said “The electric motor car has long been seen as ideal as it’s greener, cleaner and far more economical than gasoline powered cars” you’d think that it was very apt for 2014, yet surprisingly, it was first published by the New York Times back in 1911. Four years later in 1915 the Washington post wrote that “In the foreseeable future electric car prices will continue to drop until they are within the affordability of the average family.” With this in mind and given the huge advances in technology over the past 100 years, you have to wonder why most of us are still driving around in cars that use fossil fuels.

According to recent research carried out by American car manufacturing giant Ford, there are over 270,000 electric vehicles on the roads worldwide. Yet for many people the electric vehicle is still seen as unusual. However, when the company polled over 6,000 Europeans and asked them what the biggest problem the world faces today, 54% of respondents revealed ‘climate change’ as an answer. Whilst this may not be a surprise in itself, what is surprising is that although 72% agreed that electric vehicles are better for the environment, only 23% were willing to change their vehicle to become more eco-friendly.

So Why is This?


Lord Drayson at the wheel of an electric car 'mule'.

Drayson believes 2013 will be a pivotal year for electric cars in the UK, with the launches of the Tesla S and BMW i-series.

Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell

Governor McDonnell is proposing $100 per year fee on electric-drive vehicles, plus a $15 new car registration fee that ICE-age car owners don't have to pay.

Ohio State University's Motion Control Electric Vehicle

The 1,750 lbs. (800 kg.) utility vehicle, known as an FIWA, is powered by four independent 7.5kW electic motors and a 15kW lithium-ion battery pack.


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