Can you imagine not having a key-ignition starting in your car? Well, that was the reality some 60 years ago. Up to 1949, the automobiles were a luxury which unfortunately came with challenging starting options. If you want to find out more about car batteries, check out this link for the latest car battery reviews. In the meantime, let’s see how car batteries evolved over time.
Before key ignition starting
The first automobile was built at the very beginning of the 19th century, by a Frenchman named François Isaac de Rivaz. The vehicle was running with the help of an internal combustion engine, which was fueled by hydrogen. By the end of the 19th century, another inventor finds the way to upgrade this initial model of the car. Siegfried Marcus designed the first internal combustion engine that was using the gasoline instead of the hydrogen. His car was a significant point of influence for later models of cars. However, the first models of vehicles didn’t have batteries, because of the limits of electric systems in the cars.
The first lead-acid battery was invented in 1859 by Gaston Planté, a French physicist. Although this type of a car battery came with limited performance (a low energy-to-volume and energy-to-weight ratio), the battery was powerful enough to supply the first vehicles. The importance of Planté’s invention was in the fact that lead-acid battery was the first rechargeable battery invented.
Changing direction with Ford automobiles
By the early 20th century, a car industry of the time came out with great inventions. The number of new car models was lavishing, and the industry was moving fast forward. Several key car manufacturers were competing for market’s attention, which causes a significant number of innovations.
When an electric ignition was designed as a primary vehicle starting system, car batteries was gaining more attention from the manufacturers. With the improvements in car’s electrical system, the battery became an important part of the vehicle. The first starting systems were designed with a 6-volt and positive ground system batteries. The car’s chassis was directly connected to the battery terminal, which was positive at the time. Today’s cars, however, are running on the negative ground system batteries.
The changeover: from 6-volt to 12-volt batteries
The 6-volt batteries were roughly used up to 1950’s. Since the first vehicles didn’t require much electric power to work, there was no need for battery improvements. However, there were some exceptions to the rule in the mid-1960’s and 1970. Volkswagen’s Beetle and Citroen 2CV were still using 6-volt batteries, although other vehicles switched to 12-volt batteries.
The changeover was initiated when companies started producing bigger engines with higher compression ratios that required more power to start. The 12-volt batteries were again replaced in 1990’s when the 42V electrical system became a standard for cars. The reason for this change was in the fact that manufacturers intended a more powerful electrically driven accessories which would allow lighter wiring harnesses.