Today, we take the advanced batteries that power electric vehicles for granted. Lithium-ion batteries, which followed advanced lead-acid and nickel-metal hydride, is mainstream. Many exotic EV battery technologies were tried over the years, including the sodium-sulfur battery in Ford’s Ecostar.
Charging an electric vehicle through magnetic induction is being explored today as a new way to energize EV batteries, But it has its beginnings more than 28 years ago at GM’s Hughes Aircraft, long before today’s charging systems were adopted.
It was an exciting time for electric cars in the early 1990s. GM’s Impact concept was unveiled at the 1990 LA Auto Show, with the Tokyo Motor Show exhibiting many electric concepts as well. Among them was Tokyo R&D’s IZA.
We take today’s electric vehicle technology for granted. But it’s been a long road, with automakers fielding advanced technologies and concepts for decades on the way to an EV future. Here’s how the first lithium-ion battery powered EV came about.