The world’s first reasonably functional electric vehicle was made in 1881 – just over a year after Edison’s public unveiling of the electric light bulb. It travelled up to fourteen kilometres an hour.
You can read all about the new reverse-engineered model here. The opening paragraph:
As more and more mainstream car manufacturers join a new wave of electric vehicle development, it looks like we’re definitely headed for an electric transport future. While powering a car with an electric motor is not exactly a new innovation, you may be surprised to learn exactly how old the technology is. A team led by Horst Schultz – the director and founder of Germany’s Autovision Museum – has spent the last year or so painstakingly recreating the world’s first street-ready electric car, designed and created by English scientists William Ayrton and John Perry, and which first hit the streets in 1881.