Today, when the number of electric vehicles is steadily increasing in the world, it should be especially noted that the first land speed record was recorded in a car with an electric power plant. With such a car exactly 125 years ago, on December 18, 1898, a speed of 63.157 km/h was achieved.
The car was driven by Count Gaston de Chasselou-Lobas, who is one of the pioneers of motoring. Back in 1895, he founded the world’s first automobile club – Automobil-Club de France. At the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th centuries, Gaston personally participated in various automobile competitions and won a number of them. However, his main achievement is considered to be setting the world speed record for a car for the first time in history.
On the morning of December 18, 1898, record car races started in a park in the French town of Usher, not far from Paris. Four cars took part in them: two steam cars by Amadeus Bolle, another steam car by De-Dion Bouton and an electric car by Jeantaud DUC, designed by Charles Jeantaud.
The latter was a talented inventor who created, in particular, the classic steering linkage, used on most cars to this day. And he has been building electric cars since 1881.
At the above-mentioned competitions, Charles presented his next brainchild. A simple, open carriage, similar to an ordinary horse-drawn carriage, nevertheless had considerable weight – one and a half tons. The fact is that a significant part of it came from the then heavy batteries. They powered two electric motors with a total power of 36 hp. With.
The races took place at a distance of more than 2 km on the move. The Jeantaud DUC electric car covered the first section in 72.6 seconds, and the second in 52 seconds. Its average speed over a kilometer segment was 63.157 km/h. This car went down in history as the world’s first record-breaking car with an electric engine.