Back to the future: two centuries of electric cars

Introduced more than 130 years ago, electric cars are seeing a rise in popularity today for many of the same reasons they were first popular.

Whether it’s a hybrid, plug-in hybrid or all-electric, the demand for electric drive vehicles will continue to climb as prices drop and consumers look for ways to save money and drive green vehicles.

With this growing interest in electric vehicles, during E-CHARGE 2024 and E-TECH EUROPE 2024 we took a look at where this technology has been and where it’s going with a dedicate exhibition, named “Back to the future: two centuries of electric cars”.

It was a journey through time that visitors lived with the exhibition of the history of the electric car. More than 30 panels and replicas of old cars were on display at the exhibition during the fairs.

In particular, thanks to the support of the National Automobile Museum of Turin, the event hosted two unique examples of the past. One of these is the pre-war C-60 V – Pope, from overseas. The design of this car of 1907 is signed by Colonel Albert Augustus Pope (Boston, 1843 – 1909), who built a car from the electric motor in the rear position, powered by batteries placed under the seat, and the body type “duc” two seats, plus a makeshift third place in the back.

The second jewel of the exhibition of the history of the electric car was the Lem – Laboratorio Elettrico Mobile, 1974, an original vehicle from the city completely made in Italy: a two-seater born from the ingenuity of Gianni Rogliatti, Turin journalist and engineer among the leading experts in Ferrari history. The body design, however, is the result of the talent of Giovanni Michelotti, one of the greatest Italian designers, whose hand stands out from the compact, functional and elegant shape.

To be part of  E-CHARGE 2024 also the association “Solar Wave“, an organization composed of students, professors, engineers, researchers, technicians passionate about technology, engines and speed, which contributed to the exhibition with a solar-powered specimen. This is Emilia 4, a four-seater solar car with two electric motors located in the rear wheels. The team’s high range, high-performance engines, low car weight, and accurate race strategy helped them win one of the most important solar car races in the world: the 2018 American Solar Challenge, from Omaha in Nebraska to Bend in Oregon, covering about 2800 kilometers and charging the car only with the energy of the Sun. A car that comes straight from the future: it will be Emilia 4 (for now) to close the circle of the history of the electric car, which has already achieved exciting results under the banner of innovation and sustainability.

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