top of page

1881: The First Electric Vehicle

Most of us think of EVs as a modern concept, but the reality is a Frenchman created the first electric powered vehicle in 1881. And it was rechargeable.

Perhaps even more bizarrely, electric vehicles were all the rage in Victorian times but were largely killed off by the internal combustion engine. Now matters have swung full circle and electric vehicles are gradually to recapturing their crown.

The first electric vehicle, in 1881, was a tricycle invented by Gustave Trouvé. Sadly, no originals exist but a determined Coventry cycle maker - Christian Richards - has made a near perfect replica. Afterall, how many running electric vehicles exist with links to 1881 - the year Billy the Kid was shot and the first Boer War ended?

The replica was taken for a spin by Jeremy Hart of The Telegraph in Paris, the home of Gustave Trouvé's original invention. No doubt you're gagging to see what it looks like!

Click on arrow to scroll through images...


bottom of page