“The history of the electric vehicle began in the mid-19th century. An electrical vehicle held the vehicular land speed record until around 1900,” Wikipedia reminds us.
The invention of the first model electric vehicle is attributed to various people. In 1828, Ányos Jedlik, a Hungarian who invented an early type of electric motor, created a small model car powered by his new motor. In 1834, Vermont blacksmith Thomas Davenport built a similar contraption which operated on a short circular electrified track. In 1835, Professor Sibrandus Stratingh of Groningen, the Netherlands and his assistant Christopher Becker created a small-scale electrical car, powered by non-rechargeable primary cells….
The first known electric car was built in 1837 by chemist Robert Davidson of Aberdeen. It was powered by galvanic cells (batteries)….
Between 1832 and 1839, British inventor Robert Anderson also invented a crude electrical carriage. A patent for the use of rails as conductors of electric current was granted in England in 1840, and similar patents were issued to Lilley and Colten in the United States in 1847….
Rechargeable batteries that provided a viable means for storing electricity on board a vehicle did not come into being until 1859, with the invention of the lead-acid battery by French physicist Gaston Planté. Camille Alphonse Faure, another French scientist, significantly improved the design of the battery in 1881; his improvements greatly increased the capacity of such batteries and led directly to their manufacture on an industrial scale.