Electric cars were popular in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
However, the development of internal combustion engine technology and mass production of cheaper gasoline vehicles affected the usage of electric drive vehicles.
The energy crises of the 1970s and ’80s revived people’s interest in electric cars, yet it did not get as popular as it is today.
Since the mid-2000s, electric cars have got a new lease of life due to advances in battery and power management technologies and concerns about increasingly volatile oil prices and the need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
As of September 2012, the world’s top-selling highway-capable all-electric cars are the Nissan Leaf, with more than 37,000 units sold worldwide, and the Mitsubishi i-MiEV, with global sales of more than 15,000 vehicles, including more than 6,500 units rebadged as Peugeot iOn and Citroen C-Zero and sold in the European market.
Electric cars have several benefits compared to conventional internal combustion engine automobiles, including a significant reduction of local air pollution, as they have no tailpipe, and therefore do not emit harmful tailpipe pollutants.
Electric cars are significantly more expensive than conventional internal combustion engine vehicles and hybrid electric vehicles due to the additional cost of their lithium-ion battery pack.
Honda Motor Company President Takanobu Ito speaks next to the company’s electric Micro Commuter Concept city vehicle during a news conference at the 42nd Tokyo Motor Show in Tokyo.
A Smart Forvision Electric Drive car by Mercedes-Benz is displayed the 9th China (Guangzhou) International Automobile Exhibition in Guangzhou.
The logo of the Paris Autolib’ electric car is painted on the road in Vaucresson, west of Paris.
The Project P.U.M.A., an electric two-seat prototype vehicle with two wheels drives up 18th Street in New York.
Nissan Motors Co Chief Operating Officer Toshiyuki Shiga demonstrates how to recharge Nissan’s Leaf all-electric vehicle during a news conference in Yokohama.
A Toyota Prius Plug-In Hybrid car and electric outlet at the 2010 North American International Auto Show during press days in Detroit.
The all-electric concept car ‘My Car’ produced by the Newteon Company at the EVER Monaco 2009, a trade show dedicated to Ecological Vehicles and Renewable Energies, in Monte Carlo.