A Brief History of Electricity’s Rise to the Fore
Ever since we realised the dangerous effects of over-consumption of fossil fuels, manufacturers in a range of industries have been looking for greener alternatives to their much loved products. Naturally, the need to harvest power from low CO2 emitting sources has become a number one priority. We’ve compiled a list of the products that have laid the way for the e-revolution:
Think you could guess when the first electric heating device was created? 1930s? 1920s? Electricity has been heating our food and homes for even longer than that! The first patents for an electric heating device appeared in the 1890s, mainly in the United States. Using a coiled wire attached to a primitive battery, George B. Simpson laid the foundations for the future of electricity in our homes and lives.
With an equally long and distinguished history, electric cars have experienced both periods of high popularity and indifference in the public eye. First appearing in the late 19th century, the electric car grew to be highly popular in areas heavily polluted by industry. As the 20th century went on, the price of petrol decreased and living standards improved, with a gas-guzzling car becoming a recognisable sign of prosperity for individuals the world over. Technologies advanced throughout the last century, but it has only been since the discovery of the greenhouse effect and increasing evidence of our global carbon footprint that electric cars have become a widespread preference for drivers. Companies such as BMW and Tesla are paving the way for cleaner, greener personal transport and a more financially viable way to travel.
Our favourite electric product that’s revolutionising the our lives; the electric bike! As with most electric products, the first e-bikes were designed by American inventors at the close of the 19th century. Cumbersome and dangerous, these first e-bikes weren’t mass produced, but gave inspiration of innumerable redesigns and reinterpretations of an electric powered bicycle. Countries such as China and the Netherlands lead the way in e-bike innovation, with China alone selling over 21 million units annually!1As cycling grows to be a viable alternative to personal and public transport in cities such as New York, London and Tokyo, electric bikes are proving to be a key item for a whole host of diverse demographics; elderly cyclists, daily commuters and people who want to go faster for longer!
1Chi-Jen Yang (2010). “Launching strategy for electric vehicles: Lessons from China and Taiwan” (PDF). Technological Forecasting and Social Change (77): 831–834.