From the middle of the 19th century to the beginning of the 20th century, Europe and the United States and other countries have completed two industrial revolutions and entered the "electric age", and electric vehicles in various countries have also developed rapidly. On the streets of major cities in the world, such as New York, London, Paris, and Berlin, electric vehicles come and go. There are everything for rental, delivery, and household use. Electric vehicles have begun to enter the stage of commercial operation. The maturation of electric vehicle technology and the nascent commercial operation has accelerated the arrival of the first golden age.
In 1888, the Ward Electric Company built an electric bus with a speed of 11 kilometers per hour for public transportation in London. Compared with horse-drawn carriages, electric buses do not cause road damage and street pollution, and are popular with Londoners. This electric car uses a worm gear mechanism for steering and foot braking, and the driver stands in the front of the electric car to operate the vehicle. Afterwards, Ward Electric was acquired by the newly formed London Electric Bus Company for £250,000. Since then, electric cars and electric taxis have appeared in the UK one after another. However, the "Red Flag Law" implemented in the UK from 1865 to 1897 objectively hindered the development of electric vehicles in the UK. In the meantime, because of the efforts of Ward and others, by the end of the 19th century, the development of electric vehicles in Britain was still quite rapid.
Electric buses on the streets of London
In 1865, the United Kingdom promulgated the "Red Flag Act" (Locomotives Act of 1865), alias Red Flag Act, which is the world's earliest motor vehicle traffic safety regulations. The regulations stipulate that each small motor vehicle needs at least three drivers, one of whom must wave a red flag in front of the car to warn passers-by, horse riders or carriages, signal the driver when it needs to stop, and give assistance when the carriage is in difficulty. . When driving on the highway, the speed of motor vehicles shall not exceed 6.5 kilometers per hour, and when passing through towns and villages, the speed shall not exceed 3.2 kilometers per hour. Not only did the UK enact the first act to limit motor vehicle speed, but it also saw the first motorist to be fined for speeding. In 1896, Englishman Arnold was fined for reaching 13 kilometers per hour. Because of the implementation of the "Red Flag Law", the British auto industry has fallen far behind the United States, Germany, France and other countries, and has not been able to surpass it so far. The Red Flag Act was repealed in 1897.
In 1896, the International Motor Exposition was first held in London, with sedans, vans and electric vehicles all appearing at the show. In 1897, the London Electric Taxi Company was established with 15 electric cars. One of the more famous electric taxis is called Berseys. The power source of this car is a traditional lead-acid battery, which weighs about 635 kilograms and has an output voltage of 80 volts. When the car is running, the driver sits outside the compartment, which can accommodate two passengers, with shock pads on the seats and lights inside and outside the compartment. Berseys had distinct advantages in speed and comfort over the common Hansen carriages that were popular at the time. It is worth mentioning that the promulgation of the "Red Flag Law" limits the speed of vehicles and seriously hinders the development of technologies related to electric vehicles. Berseys' motors and control systems can only be imported from the United States. The company's electric taxis are all charged by DC generators at fixed charging stations. Although the charging time is very long, the charging efficiency is as high as 86%, which shows the high level of charging technology in the UK at that time. Less than a year after its launch, the London Electric Taxi Company has added 50 more electric taxis. A limerick on the company office wall describes the optimism about the future of electric vehicles at the time.
The carriage is gone forever
The sound of the machine rumbles in the ear
The Prophet's Spirit Changes My Heart
A new era has come
The development of electric vehicles in France was not as fast as that in the United Kingdom, but the implementation of the "Red Flag Law" in the United Kingdom greatly hindered the research and development of electric vehicle-related technologies. French latecomers are on top. In 1905, the French automobile industry was already ahead of Britain, and the export of motor vehicles ranked first in the world. During this period, several electric car companies appeared in France, such as the car transportation company French Electric Vehicle Company, etc., and electric taxis also appeared on the streets of Paris. In 1897, Darlac invented regenerative braking technology and applied it to electric vehicles. Regenerative braking technology can absorb part of the kinetic energy of the vehicle during braking and convert it into electrical energy from the battery. Especially when driving in urban areas, Dalak's technology can significantly increase the driving range of electric vehicles because of frequent braking. The excellent performance of electric cars designed by Darlac and others at the Paris World Expo, as well as the excellent results of the electric cars of Zantold and Broulter in the Paris-Bordeaux-Paris Rally, made the excellent performance of electric cars widely known and greatly stimulated the electric car. demand for cars. At the beginning of the 20th century, there were around 1,000 electric taxis in Paris.
Electric taxis (berseys)
After 1900, as the number and quality of roads between cities increased, the French's interest gradually shifted to other powered vehicles.
Compared with Britain and France, Germany's research on electric vehicles started late, but its subsequent development is no less. German industrial development ranked first in the world at that time, and electric vehicle technology has also made great progress under the impetus of rapid industrial development. In 1899, the German Borscher invented a hub motor to replace the chain drive commonly used in automobiles at that time. This was followed by the development of the Lohner-Porsche electric car, which used a lead-acid battery as a power source and was directly driven by in-wheel electric motors in the front wheels, the first car to be named after Porsche. At the Paris World's Fair in 1900, the car debuted under the name Toujours-Contente and was a sensation.
Subsequently, Porsche also installed two in-wheel electric motors on the rear wheels of Lohner-Porsche, thus giving birth to the world's first four-wheel drive electric car. But the battery used in this car is very large and heavy, and the top speed is only 60 kilometers per hour. In order to solve these problems, in 1902, Porsche added an internal combustion engine to the electric car to generate power to drive the wheel motor, which is also the world's first hybrid car. Regrettably, after completing this hybrid, he withdrew from electric vehicle research in favor of diesel locomotives. If Borscher had a vision, seeing today's automotive world might be a mixed blessing. The good news is that electric vehicles and hybrid vehicles have once again become the focus of attention; the bad news is that, a hundred years later, the corresponding commercialization progress is still not satisfactory.
The world's first hybrid car
Daimler has also produced a series of electric cars. Kaiser Wilhelm II, who once dubbed diesel locomotives as "stinky cars", owned a "Mercedes-Electrique" electric car produced by the company. From 1905 to 1909, enough battery charging stations and battery replacement stations appeared in Germany, the problem of the driving range of electric vehicles was solved, and electric taxis could be seen everywhere. In 1909, the Berlin power plant began transporting coal by electric trucks. During the First World War, the Meierei Bolle company owned more than 100 electric transporters for food transport. In 1914, the Deutsche Post Office had 220 electric postal cars.