The Electromote was the world's first vehicle run like a trolleybus, which was first presented to the public on April 29, 1882, by its inventor Dr. Ernst Werner von Siemens in Halensee, a suburb of Berlin, Germany.
The Elektromote operated from April 29 to June 13, 1882, on a 540 m (591 yard) trail-track starting at Halensee train station, and thence to “Straße No. 5”, today's Joachim-Friedrich-Straße, and “Straße No. 13”, today's Johann-Georg-Straße, crossing the upper Kurfürstendamm at former Kurfürstenplatz.
The Electromote built by the Siemens & Halske company was a converted four-wheel landau carriage, equipped with two 2.2 kW electric motors transmitting the power using a chain drive to the rear wheels. The voltage used was 550 V DC. The electric power transmission to the coach was by a flexible cable pulling a small eight-wheeled "contact car" (Kontaktwagen) that ran along the overhead power lines. In English language use, the Kontaktwagen was later named the "trolley", giving the trolleybus its name.
This experimental vehicle already fulfilled all the technical criteria of a typical trolleybus. After the demonstration runs closed on June 13, the test track was dismantled on June 20, 1882.
- Elektromote, Siemens History website, accessed 2011-08-28