Who invented the first steam-powered car?

Cars & Vehicles
Inventions

In 1769, the very first self-propelled road vehicle was a military tractor invented by French engineer and mechanic, Nicolas Joseph Cugnot (1725 - 1804). Cugnot used a steam engine to power his vehicle, built under his instructions at the Paris Arsenal by mechanic Brezin. It was used by the French Army to haul artillery at a whopping speed of 2 1/2 mph on only three wheels. The vehicle had to stop every ten to fifteen minutes to build up steam power. The steam engine and boiler were separate from the rest of the vehicle and placed in the front. The following year (1770), Cugnot built a steam-powered tricycle that carried four passengers.

Father Ferdinand Verbiest, a Catholic priest may have been the inventor of the first steam car in 1687. Early documentation suggests that Father Verbiest built the steam vehicle for Chinese Emperor Chien Lung, but this has been under much debate.

French engineer and army officer Nicolas-Joseph Cugnot and M. Brezin exhibited an experimental steam-powered artillery tractor in 1769 that many consider to be the real first steam car. The Cugnot steam car or "Steamer" traveled at a blazing 2 ½ mph and Cugnot ran it once into a stone wall making for the first motor vehicle accident in history.

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