Which is the first electronic car

Leipzig "Lizard" 1925 - The first electric cars drive through Germany

It is a transporter that wrestles an enthusiastic "Oh" from the people of Leipzig on the street: In the early 1920s, the Bleichert company designed its first electric vehicle, called the "Bleichert Lizard". The car winds its way through narrow streets without any exhaust fumes. The "lizard" is steered with the body, i.e. the driver shifts his weight to the right or left. The trolleys are designed for delivery traffic in city traffic and are perfect for short distances. They have been used throughout Germany since 1925 to drive to shops during the day, and at night they fill up with inexpensive night electricity.

That was where the design department at Bleichert was very clever and said: Well, we probably won't stir up the car market, but the electric motor is the perfect drive for these short distances. The electricity they use there costs less to produce than petrol, which was not synthetically produced at the time. If you want to move within a limited range, it is the cheapest drive, just like it is today. "

Ulf Morgenstern, historian

The first roadworthy electric car

But the Leipzig "lizard" also had a forerunner. The French physicist M. Gustave Trouvé developed the first roadworthy electric car. For the first electricity fair in Paris in 1881, he fitted a bicycle with a third support wheel with an electric motor. The lead plates are dipped into the acid of the open batteries using cables. Depending on the depth, the vehicle is faster or slower - but it does not go beyond 12 kilometers per hour. A few months later, scientists William Ayrton and John Perry present an electric car in England that is still considered the world's first street-ready electric car. The construction of the tricycle is so sophisticated that it enables a range of up to 40 kilometers.

No chance against petrol runabouts

The first electric car suitable for road use is quickly forgotten. Charging is complicated and its inventors do not put much emphasis on PR measures. Bertha Benz, on the other hand, took her husband Carl's gasoline-powered, crackling debut on a long-distance journey that attracted the public's attention. After the turn of the century, the mobile fuel guzzlers set out to conquer, are technically perfected, drive faster and further.

The "lizard" also had a hard time asserting itself, although in 1930 the operation of electric cars was subsidized by the state. If you drive an electric car, you pay less tax and insurance. Nevertheless, the efficient electric cars are inferior to the fuel-guzzling stinker competition in the long run: The local manufacturer Bleichert cannot flood the market like the big automobile manufacturers, but only build a certain number of the "lizard". Even back then, Opel, Audi and Benz relied fully on internal combustion engines.

If technology had been given a little more time, or if it had just been given a little more time, if the Nazis hadn't intervened with their economic ideas, and especially with their war, then technology would have had much better opportunities.

Ulf Morgenstern, Otto von Bismarck Foundation Friedrichsruh

Electric car made in "GDR"

Despite all the adversities, the Leipzig electric car production survived the Second World War. Until 1961 the legendary "Bleichert-Eidechse" delivered as VEB Stromwagen to the Reichsbahn and the post office. Otherwise, however, the GDR relies on gasoline engines with robust technology. Two-stroke engines characterize the two car brands Trabant and the Wartburg. But in Lusatia, a handful of schoolchildren and their teacher Erhard Neubert are developing the "Elsist", short for "Electric Safety City Car". The electric car is fast, quiet and economical. In 1978, after four years of conception and construction, it was finally a reality, but series production was rejected for no reason. In the mid-1990s, electromobility got an upswing again. Like the "Lizard" back then, the latest generation of electric cars is now rolling off the assembly line in Leipzig.