The History of Electric Vehicles - a time capsule
Milestone Vehicles on the Road to Modern EVs
1996—General Motors’ EV1
The Toyota RAV4 EV enabled the public to buy from a highly reputable manufacturer with important standard inclusions, such as warranty and dealer support.
1997—Toyota RAV4 EV
Toyota was also important in the modern chapter of the history of electric vehicles. In 1997 Toyota began selling the RAV4 EV, a variant of their popular gasoline-engine RAV4. Also powered by a nickel-metal hydride battery, the first generation propelled the car for around 95 miles. The vehicle used a factory-supplied, wall-mounted charger that plugged into a standard US 240v dryer socket. California was again the key market with almost 1500 RAV4 EVs sold there – although again, under leasing agreements.
Production of the Gen-1 RAV4 EV ran until 2003, after which the general-public purchased the cars as their leases expired. The RAV4 EV was an important electric vehicle milestone in two ways:
- It expanded the early marketplace for EVs, and
- It enabled the public to buy from a highly reputable manufacturer with important standard inclusions, such as warranty and dealer support.
The Prius also became a virtual poster-child for people wanting to demonstrate their ‘green credentials’ in both a practical and visible way.
The base cost for a new 2019 Leaf is only $29,000 – that’s a great price for an entry-level EV with nearly 250 miles of range!
First introduced in 2010—and still in production—the Nissan Leaf has been an extremely successful EV. The Nissan Leaf has won many ‘Best Car’ awards, including:
- 2011 European Car of the Year
- 2011 World Car of the Year
- 2011–2012 Car of the Year Japan
2012—Telsa Model S
The Chevy Bolt is important to the electric vehicle timeline because it’s the continuation of major car manufacturers offering EVs as an extension of their vehicle range.
2017—Telsa Model 3
|Years||Manufacturer & Model||Units Produced|
|1996-2002||General Motors EV1||1,117|
|1997-2003||Toyota RAV4 EV||1,500|
|2017-2019||Telsa Model 3||290,000|
|1997-2019||Toyota Prius||More than 4 million|