Apparently, electric vehicles have long tempted drivers to go faster than the law allows. According to a historical tidbit on Today I Found Out, the first-ever speeding ticket handed out in the US was given to a New York City cabbie driving a battery-electric car, all the way back in 1899.
Of course, life was a little slower then, so the illegal speed was just 12 miles an hour. This is how fast the Electric Vehicle Co.'s Jacob German was hauling down Lexington Avenue in his cab on May 20, 1999 – four mph above the legal speed limit. Not only was he stopped by a cop, he was also apparently thrown in jail for his offense.
Yesterday, Nissan and New York City kicked off a year-long electric taxi pilot program using six 2013 Nissan Leaf EVs (pictured, since we can't seem to find a dash cam of Mr. German getting arrested). Today I Found Out claims that, in the era of German's ticket, 90 percent of the taxis in NYC were powered by electricity. The early EVs were mostly made by the Electric Carriage and Wagon Company of Philadelphia.