With the cost of oil and the desire to reduce the ecological footprint of vehicles, the electric car is in full development. But when was it invented and what were the first prototypes?

Often presented as the vehicle of the future, the electric car actually has a distant past dating back to the early days of the automobile. Discover the history of the electric vehicle, from the 19th century to the present day

History in detail

The very first electric car dates from 1834. The combustion engine, more complex, saw its emergence later, in 1861. The first commercialization of an electric vehicle dates from 1852. But these first models do not use an electric battery. rechargeable.

The invention in 1859 of the rechargeable lead-acid battery by Gaston Planté and the work of Camille Faure allow the EV car to have a success never equaled in our century.

The invention of the electric car

The first prototypes of cars were invented between 1834, the date of the first version (model train), and 1881.

In 1880, several engineers made electric cars and, in 1881. the French Gustave Found presented one at the International Electricity Exhibition.

It was then the rise of the EV car. in competition with cars with internal combustion engines and those with steam.

In 1899, it was an electric car that broke the 100 km / h mark for the first time, reaching 105.88 km / h. It’s the Jamais-Content of Belgian Camille Jenatzy.

It was not until the 1920s and 1930s that the gasoline car began to supplant the electric car before completely establishing itself.

Well read late, the cost of oil and the constraints related to CO2 emissions have brought electric cars back into fashion.

Camille Jenatzy’s “Jamais Contente” (main photo) broke the speed record in 1899 by exceeding 100 km / h, and in 1900 a fleet of taxis lived in the streets of New York.

At the time, 38% of the US auto market was captured by electric vehicles. Easy to start, not leaving behind an unbreathable cloud of black smoke, these cars are far superior to the combustion cars of the time.