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1st LandSpeed Record speed record was set at 39 mph (63 kph). Dec. 18 1898

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December 18: The first land-speed record was set in an electric car on this date in 1898




The first vehicle to ever turn a wheel in France was powered by electricity and the mind of engineer Charles Jeantaud, who paired the then-new inventions of plate alkaline batteries and electric motors to build a series of electric cars. On this date in 1898, Count Gaston de Chasseloup-Laubat took his Jeantaud at top speed over a one-kilometer strip during an exhibition arranged by a French magazine, hitting an average speed of 39 mph — the first land-speed record. The feat earned Chasseloup-Laubat the name "The Electric Count," along with a challenge from a Belgian competitor with which he would swap the land speed record several times over the following months.


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