Last updated on October 8th, 2023 at 03:04 am

In 1885, Thomas Parker, the British inventor, built the first electric car, setting the stage for the era of electric vehicles and paving the way for sustainable transportation solutions.

Electric cars are coming into the center of high demand, growing people’s interest in electric vehicles day by day. So many companies have started to develop new electric cars.

Electric-powered cars became popular among urban residents as they didn’t have any of the issues associated with steam or gasoline. These cars were perfect for driving in poor conditions outside cities that others could not.

Electric cars were quiet, easy to navigate, and didn’t emit a smelly pollutant like steam or gasoline cars. They are also famous for short trips around the city. Among the women, it was the most acceptable car type.

What Is An Electric Car?

The electric car is an automatic vehicle powered by an electric motor instead of a petrol or diesel engine. An electric vehicle does not need petrol or diesel to run an electric car. These cars are always fully automatic, they can be accelerated like a regular automatic vehicle, but there is no gear in electric cars.

When Do People Start Their Search For Electric Cars?

Search for electric cars started about 200 years ago in the 1800s. Giving the credit to any inventor or country for the invention of the electric car is not easy, because it was a series of breakthroughs from the battery to the electric motor.

With the invention of the electric car, there are many contributions from many people who have experimented with electric vehicles.

In the early 19th Century, different innovators from different nations were in search of the concept of a battery-powered vehicle. The inventors passionate about inventing the electric car are from various nations, including Hungary, the Netherlands, the United States, and Vermont. They tried to create some small-scale electric cars.

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Who Invented The First Electric Car?

Around the 1830s, a Scottish Inventor named Robert Anderson started to create a carriage with galvanic cells instead of horses. And he finished his work between 1832 and 1839. Anderson’s first electric car was displayed at an industry conference in 1835.

Robert Anderson used to build the carriage as a non-rechargeable power cell. The vehicles’ cells are also disposable and are powered by crude oil to generate electricity and turn the wheels. The car could travel around 12 kilometers per hour. But it has tough steering to drive.

There are no similarities between that carriage and today we call it a car, but still, it was the first electric car that could carry people.

Other Inventors At The Same Times 

There are many others on this list of electric car inventors. But some of the names that can’t be forgotten and have a massive contribution to this historic invention are listed here.

A Hungarian inventor Ányos Jedlik

At the same time as Anderson, many people A Hungarian inventor named Ányos Jedlik did invent an electromagnetic device in 1828. That he used in a miniature model of the car designed by him was an excellent start for the invention of the EV. That device is still used nowadays in modern electric vehicles.

An American blacksmith Thomas Davenport

Another name on the list of inventors of the first electric car is an American blacksmith named Thomas Davenport. Before Thomas, there were several inventions, but they were models or small carriages. So, this was the first practical electric vehicle ever that could truly call a car. He invented integral components of the electric motor, which was used to produce the electric vehicle in 1835. It was a small locomotive in which he used the first American DC electric motor to power his car.

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Car with the First Rechargeable Battery

In 1859 a French physicist named Gaston Plante invented the rechargeable lead-acid storage battery. A year later, in 1860, he presented a battery to the Academy of Sciences. That takes the invention of the electric car one step forward.

After rechargeable batteries arrived around 1884, Thomas Parker used electric-powered trams to build prototype electric cars.

First Practical Electric Car

A Scottish chemist William Morrison from Des Moines, Iowa, applied for the electric carriage patent. He may have built this in early 1887. He converted the traditional horse-drawn Surrey carriage and fit a battery in it. It was the first practical electric car in the USA. In comparison to other EV inventions, it was very successful then.

According to the Des Moines Register, in 1888, it was first shown in a city parade. Later in 1893, it appeared again in the famed World’s Columbian Exhibition and became a sensation in Chicago’s fair.

That car came along with a front-wheel drive, four horsepower, and a reported speed of 20 mph. It was powered by 24 battery cells which needed to be recharged every 50 miles. More of that, Morrison’s electric carriage could carry about 12 people. Morrison himself was that interested in mobility but the batteries. But it can’t be denied that it worked as a spark in the imagination of other inventors of the 19th Century.

Ferdinand Porsche was one of them. He made an electric car in 1898 and named it the P1. He also created the world’s first hybrid car, which uses electricity and a gas engine. In the 1910s, electric vehicles became more accessible and easy to charge.

Thomas Edison partnered with his friend Henry Ford and built a low-cost electric car in 1914 with a better electric vehicle battery. But that was still costly and less available than a gasoline-powered vehicle.


In 1894 Philadelphians Pedro Salom and Henry G. Morris patented a car. They adapted the battery-electric streetcars and boat technologies used before. It was the first commercially successful electric car.

Electrobat was successful but very slow and heavy. To solve this, they used lighter material on the wheel instead of steel and two 1.1-kW motors. That was a rear-steer carriage. The modification makes it faster than before and could run up to 20 to 25 mph. They built a few electric Hansom cabs that could compete with the horse-drawn vehicles.

But later, they sold their patent to Issac L. Rice. He was the owner of the Electric Vehicle Company (EVC) in New Jersey.

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