The Tesla electric car was a purported invention of Nikola Tesla. He is reported to have created a car with an electric engine, but no external power source except a box he created out of vacuum tubes, rods and transistors or resistors bought at a local radio store. The car was said to have been driven at speeds of 90 mph for several weeks. This story has been debated constantly, for the fact that Tesla invented it appears to give instant credibility to an otherwise unbelievable story. There is no known physical evidence confirming that the car ever existed.
Another interpretation of this term is an electric car that received energy wirelessly, as Tesla was constantly experimenting with this technology. Support is lent to this hypotheses in a letter from Tesla to Benjamin F. Miessner. In regards to a self-propelled automaton he wrote:
"In an article in the Century Magazine... I have related the circumstances which led me to develop the idea of a self-propelled automaton. My experiments were begun sometime in '92 and from that period, on, until '95, in my laboratory at 35 South Fifth Avenue, I exhibited a number of contrivances and perfected plans for several complete automata. After the destruction of my laboratory by fire in '95, there was an interruption in these labors which, however, were resumed in '96 in my new laboratory at 46 Houston Street where I made more striking demonstrations, in many instances actually transmitting the whole motive energy to the devices instead of simply controlling the same from a distance..."