Somewhere in-between 1832 and 1839 (the exact date is unknown),
Scotsman Robert Anderson is credited with inventing the first
electric car (by some accounts, though this is still under debate).
The first electric car was a crude beast. Around 1834 or 1835
American Thomas Davenport is also credited with building the first
Three others who are also credited with building the first electric
car, depending upon the source, include Professor Sibrandus Stratingh
of Groningen, Holland, Christopher Becker, and Hungarian inventor
In 1842, both Thomas Davenport and Robert Anderson invented practical
electric cars. Both inventors used electric batteries that were
non-rechargeable. In 1865, Gaston Plante of France invented rechargeable
lead-acid batteries that made electric cars more practical.
And in 1881, fellow Frenchman Camille Faure improved upon this
rechargeable lead-acid battery design that would secure the electric
vehicle as a means of locomotion throughout Europe. In 1884, British
inventor Thomas Parker, claimed to have created an electric car.
In 1891, in Des Moines, IA, William Morrison built the first electric
car with any success in the United States. In 1889, Thomas Edison
built an electric vehicle using nickel-alkaline batteries.
In 1895, America's first automobile race took place on Thanksgiving
Day, sponsored by the Chicago Times-Herald. Six cars were entered
in the race, four powered by gasoline and two by electricity. The
electric cars were built by Morris and Salom of Philadelphia and
Sturgis of Chicago.
In 1897, a the first electric cars to be used as taxis were built
for fleet use in New York City by the Electric Carriage and Wagon
Company of Philadelphia. In 1899, in Belgium an electric race car
called the "La Jamais Contente" set a land-speed record
of 68 mph. This first electric record-setting racecar was built
by Camille Jénatzy.
By 1900, electric cars were commonplace making up 28-percent
of the marketplace. In 1899, the first
hybrid car running on gasoline and electricity was invented
by Porsche. Gasoline cars, however, were already dominant by this
point because of short refueling times and extended range.
And, the rest, as they say is history.