When the motor car was invented, the electrical system was not yet involved. At that time it was already a little further developed and after the turn of the century had been competing, for quite some time, at least as a
power plant, with the internal combustion engine. Around this time the first electric component was introduced into the motor car in the form of a magneto ignition, for this reason the decisive cable for the ignition still
today carries the terminal designation '1'. It liberated the four-stroke petrol engine used at that time in vehicles, from the glow-pipe ignition.
By the way, this combined system, consisting of battery, starter and generator only came to us later after a detour through the USA, and its increasing need for comfort. Until then, we still had to crank-start our vehicles!
As we can see from the origins of the motor-car, the engine does not necessarily need an electrical installation. Even today there are diesel engines in pump stations far from any civilisation, which need no electricity,
at least once they are running.
It still took rather a long time before electrical installations were embedded in the motor-car. In 1964, the wiring diagram of a VW-Beetle still fitted onto a DIN-A-4-page (roughly foolscap). It was probably due to the
development of electronics and small, reasonably priced light-weight electric motors. In the meantime, the electrical system has reached, at least as far as weight is concerned, its limits, and for some time now there
are efforts to also reduce weight here. Of course, without any real wish to surrender any of the advantages. This is found today in only a few roadsters which make it clear, what is possible with a relatively normal
engine if one installs only that which is absolutely necessary for safety, and renouncing any form of comfort electronics.