This may come as a big surprise to some but electric cars were first conceived in the early 19th Century. While these initial versions were crude and impractical, before the turn of the century an innovator in the United States had developed a six passenger vehicle capable of a top speed of 14 miles per hour.
Over the next 100 years or so car manufacturers toyed with producing electric cars but the petrol powered car ruled the roost. Limited by technology, there was no way electric cars could challenge the incredible sales of petrol powered cars, which by the mid-1900s were widely available and affordable, with reasonable running costs thanks to low fuel prices.
However, these low fuel prices couldn’t last forever and when they began to rise suddenly the development of electric cars was back on the agenda of manufacturers. Fast forward to today and electric cars are in the public consciousness and quickly moving into the mainstream.
Previously, the issue that held back sales of electric cars was poor battery life, but this is changing. At present, fully electric vehicles have a range of between 50 and 120 miles when charged, while hybrid models have a range of over 300 miles. Considering the price of petrol is expected to increase in coming years it is no surprise that more and more consumers are investing in electric vehicles, especially high range hybrids.
This is an exciting time for electric cars. Global sales of existing models are expected to reach almost 7 million by 2020 and even technology giant Apple is exploring electric cars, pencilling in 2020 as the year of release for its very own electric car.
As a global leader in the precision cold forming and machining of copper power semiconductor devices, which are a key component in all hybrid and electric vehicles, we’ve seen many consumer trends come and go. However, few have excited us quite as much as the move towards electric cars.
Learn more about our expertise in cold forming and machining power semiconductors or give us a call to discuss your application.