Although many do not know this, electric vehicles have a very long history. Electric vehicles first hit the scene in the mid-19th century and was actually the preferred method of propulsion for quite a while. The internal combustion engine took over the market in consumer vehicles about 100 years ago, but electric has continued to hold a major stake in other types of vehicles, such as trains.
For consumer vehicles, electric came back into fashion at the end of the 20th century, when Saturn released the EV1. It was never mass-marketed, nor was it mass-produced. It did create mass buzz, though, generating enough interest in the state of California that Ford, Toyota and more got into the market as well. As the companies started producing the vehicles, the state got excited with the technology and created legislation demanding the mass production of these vehicles. The companies responded by stopping all production and revoking the leases in the wild.
The companies were able to crush the vehicles, but they couldn't crush the market interest in them. Eventually, these same companies began releasing hybrids, which began to ease the vehicles into the market. Over time they began releasing electric vehicles again, and new companies like Tesla got into the market, pushing the technology quicker.
This week, Ford has announced that they will dedicate $4.5 billion into electric vehicles over the coming 5 years. The company will use the investment to enhance their existing electric vehicles, as well as adding 13 new EVs to the lineup. Their first enhancement will be changing the charging process in the Focus Electric, allowing it to rapid charge to 80% in 30 minutes. That 80% will give drivers about 100 miles of drive time, easing some of the fears GM, Ford and Toyota tried to instill into the public during the last round.
Are you excited about Ford making 40% of their vehicles electric over the next 5 years? Let us know in the comments.