A brief history of the electric car.
Believe it or not, the electric car was amongst the earliest automobiles. Small electric vehicles predate the vehicles, namely the Otto cycle upon which Diesel (diesel engine) and Benz (gasoline engine) based the automobile. Between 1832 and 1839, a Scottish businessman called Robert Anderson invented the first crude electric carriage. Professor Sibrandus Stratingh of Groningen from the Netherlands, designed the small-scale electric car, built by his assistant Christopher Becker in 1835.
The improvement of the storage battery, by Frenchmen Gaston Plante in 1865 and Camille Faure in 1881, paved the way for electric vehicles to flourish. An electric-powered two-wheel cycle was demonstrated at the World Exhibition 1867 in Paris by the Austrian inventor Franz Kravogl. France and Great Britain were the first nations to support the widespread development of electric vehicles. In November 1881 French inventor Gustave Trouvé demonstrated a working three-wheeled automobile at the International Exhibition of Electricity in Paris.
Just prior to 1900, before the pre-eminence of powerful but polluting internal combustion engines, electric automobiles held many speed and distance records. Among the most notable of these records was the breaking of the 100 km/h (60 mph) speed barrier, by Camille Jenatzy on April 29, 1899 in his 'rocket-shaped' vehicle Jamais Contente, which reached a top speed of 105.88 km/h (65.79 mph).