La Jamais Contente by Cie Generale des Transports Automobiles Jenatzy, Belgium & France

2010: Electrifying! Beautiful, Innovative & Radiant.

Full Size Vehicle on Display at Michelin Challenge Design™


The Jamais Contente (The Never Satisfied) was an electric car built in 1899 by a Belgian man called Camille Jenatzy. La Jamais Contente was the first vehicle to go over 100 km/h (62 mph). It was a torpedo shaped electric vehicle made of Partinium, an alloy of laminated aluminum, tungsten and magnesium that was very expensive and lightweight, and had never been used in a car before. La Jamais Contente had two direct drive Postel-Vinay 25kW motors, running at 200V drawing 124 Amperes for about 68 horsepower and was equipped with MICHELIN® tires.

Jenaty’s La Jamais Contente set the land speed record, according to sources, on April 29 or May 1, 1899 at Achères,Yvelinesnear Paris, France. Jenatzy reached the speed of 105.882 km/h (65.792 mph), besting the previous record, held by Count Gaston de Chasseloup-Laubat, who had attained 92.78 km/h (57.65 mph). It was revolutionary at the time to reach such a speed, because just four years before, the maximum speed was no more than 30km/h.

Willing to carve a place in the then promising Parisian electric carriage market, Jenatzy started a manufacturing plant which would produce many electric carriages and trucks. He fiercely competed against carriage maker Jeantaud in publicity stunts to see which made the fastest vehicles. In order to assure the triumph of his company, Jenatzy built a bullet shaped prototype in order to break the 100 km/h barrier. His record stood for three years.

The vehicle on display in the Michelin exhibit is a replica of the original. It was built in 1993-94 by the students of the Université de Technologie et du Lycée Technologique de Compiégne, in France.