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The Vehicle of the Century Cycles Back to Electric

August 9, 2017

There’s a keystone in every great invention.

It’s an irony—the first horseless carriages were electrically driven and developed in the 1800s. They were replaced by gasoline engines in the 1900s. Now in the 2000s, electricity is on the verge of replacing gas once again. The auto industry in America has always been a leader in innovation and ingenuity. Today’s cars and trucks are faster, safer, and more technologically advanced than ever before. The industry is continuing to evolve to meet the needs-- and demands--of consumers and the times we live in. So, where did it all begin?

Invention of the Electric Car

The first ‘electric carriage’ was believed to have been invented by Robert Anderson in Scotland in 1834, but the first electric motor was introduced by Michael Faraday in 1821 when he successfully demonstrated the first electrically-driven motor […] his work also inspired other scientists to explore the science behind electricity, ultimately culminating in the modern electric motor (1001 Inventions, page 275).

An electric vehicle (EV) with a non-rechargeable battery was accessible by the 1840s in both Scotland and America. The industry continued to see new electric vehicle designs in France too. The second design was a carriage fitted with an electric motor; and in England with a battery-powered electric tricycle (1001 Inventions, page 322).

In America by the late 19th century, electric cars were prominent in major American cities. William Morrison developed a 24-cell rechargeable battery that could reach speeds of 14 mph for 13 hr on a single overnight charge. The electric car didn’t fail because of performance; it was doomed by bad business strategies. (1001 Inventions, page 474)

Electronics Make Cars Smart

Although gas run engines became the more successful type of vehicle, electricity still plays a significant role in driving; EV’s aside, a battery is still required to start the engine. Today, power steering is also moving toward electricity. Although hydraulics were standard a few years ago, automotive engineers are moving towards electrically assisted power steering to improve mpg.

In both new gas and electric vehicles, electronic components are responsible for coordinating various systems from automatic windshield wipers and tire pressure management systems to drivetrain and combustion timing. Mechanics aren’t grease monkeys anymore—they are skilled technicians using high-tech tools and equipment. As the components have improved, so have the tools, e.g., old electricity meters used a mechanical electrical charge and a meter to display a reading. New meters are digital and the industry uses battery power for backup. (1001 Inventions, page 456)

Keystone Drives the Future

Even the smallest electronic component has a big impact on the performance of a vehicle. That’s why we manufacture and deliver the highest quality components such as auto blade fuse clips and fuse holders, quick fit terminals, screws, screw terminals, and terminal blocks. Our components meet the demands of electronically driven cars on the market today. Contact us to learn more about our products and services that support the expansions of the automotive industry. In such a fast paced industry, you never know who will have the next innovation.

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