17th and 18th centuries
Member of a Jesuit mission in China
-built a steam-powered vehicle around 1672 as a toy for the Kangxi Emperor
-It was small-scale and could not carry a driver
-Quite possibly,the first working steam-powered vehicle.
Attempts were made to introduce practical steam powered vehicles.
-hand brakes, multi-speed transmissions and better steering developed.
-A professor at Prague Polytechnic, Josef Bozek, built an oil-fired steam car.
-Walter Hancock, builder and operator of London steam buses, in 1838 built a 2 seated car phaeton.
-which he began building in 1865, was a high-wheeled carriage with bracing to support a two-cylinder steam engine mounted on the floor
-Canadian jeweller Henry Seth Taylor demonstrated his 4-wheeled "steam buggy" at the Stanstead Fair in Stanstead, Quebec and again the following year.
- Steam-powered road vehicles, both cars and wagons, reached the peak of their development in the early 1930s with fast-steaming lightweight boilers and efficient engine designs
- Internal combustion engines also developed greatly during WWI, becoming simpler to operate and more reliable.
- Although a few designers continued to advocate steam power,no significant developments in production steam cars took place after Doble in 1931
- Whether steam cars will ever be reborn in later technological eras remains to be seen
- Magazines such as Light Steam Power continued to describe them into the 1980s
- The 1950s saw interest in steam-turbine cars powered by small nuclear reactors, but the dangers inherent in nuclear fission technology soon killed these ideas.
- German Flocken Elektrowagen of 1888, regarded as the first electric car of the world
- In 1828, Anyos Jedlik, a Hungarian who invented an early type of electric motor, created a tiny model car powered by his new motor.
- In 1834, Vermont blacksmith Thomas Davenport, the inventor of the first American DC electric motor, installed his motor in a small model car, which he 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
- In 1838, Scotsman Robert Davidson built an electric locomotive that attained a speed of 4 miles per hour (6 km/h)
- In England, a patent was granted in 1840 for the use of tracks as conductors of electric current, and similar American patents were issued to Lilley and Colten in 1847