G. Trouvé, N-J Raffard and Jean-Baptiste André Godin

August 26, 2018























On 16 April, 1881, the world’s first battery-electric tricycle, assembled by Trouvé and his neighbour, N-J Raffard went on trials along the rue Valois. 



It clocked a speed of 12 km/h (7.4 mph).



One man who saw the potential of Trouvé’s electric tricycle was Jean-Baptiste Godin, an industrialist who had made his fortune from the manufacture of cast iron stoves built by a co-operative at Guise in Picardy, where some 1,500 workers were employed to make 280,000 units annually. On 6 July, Godin wrote to a friend:


" The newspapers have recently announced the application of electricity to the bicycle. With such a machine, travelling would take place without the rider having anything else to do than to steer the vehicle. This would be an invention which could really render useless any kind of bicycle."


Godin production of the Trouvé electric tricycle never even started.

Today, 137 years later, China is the world's leading producer of e-bicycles.



It is estimated that there were roughly 120 million e-bikes in China as of early 2010, as of 2017, that number had risen to 150 million and 200 million.


Almost but not quite!






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