The History of Green Cars

Written by noel shankel
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The History of Green Cars
Electric cars are no longer a thing of the future. (futuristic electric car 2 image by Michael Shake from

The history of the green car, or a more environmentally friendly car, dates back to the early 1800s. Over the years, numerous car companies have produced green cars. While some have lasted, others have been discontinued altogether.

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Early History

Electric vehicles date back to 1832 when European car designers introduced the electric carriage. By 1890, electric cars were being produced and built in America by both Al Ryker and William Morrison. In 1897, a fleet of electric taxi cabs were used in New York City.

The History of Green Cars
Electric taxis were used in New York in 1897. (new-york city image by Pierre-Emmanue Bayart from

Detroit Electric Coupe

During the early twentieth century, the Detroit Electric Coupe was introduced and had the capability of reaching a maximum speed of 20mph. The Detroit Electric Coupe, upon a single charge, could travel a distance of 80 miles. In 1907, Henry Ford started to produce petroleum cars on a massive scale, causing the electric car to be phased out for much of the next century.

Modern Day

Back in the 1990s General Motors released the EV1, an electric car that was later discontinued in 2003. In 1997, Toyota began selling a hybrid car, the Prius, in Japan and three years later the Prius was available in the United States. Although not fully electric, the Prius does feature an electric motor which is recharge by a gasoline engine when depleted, making the vehicle more fuel efficient.

The History of Green Cars
The Prius was first introduced in Japan in 1997. (Japan image by Angelika Bentin from

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