Apart from Carl Benz, in the 19th century a number of other inventors also worked on developing a vehicle powered by a combustion engine. These pioneers included the likes of Swiss inventor Isaac de Rivaz (1807), Belgian Jean-Joseph-Etienne Lenoir (1863) and Siegfried Marcus in Austria (1870). In some cases these vehicles only existed on paper, while in others they were small, self-propelled carriages which were not capable of transporting people.
The first ever vehicle to be powered by an engine was the three-wheeled steam cart, weighing in at 4,000 kg, which Frenchman Nicolas-Joseph Cugnot presented in 1769. The subsequent period saw further steam-powered vehicles being built, which in some cases even went into series production. The disadvantages of such vehicles powered by steam engine included the very high weight of the drive system and the need to put the vehicles into operation some time before departure.
The combustion engine, in contrast, promised a host of advantages. In 1807, Isaac de Rivaz developed a simple experimental vehicle designed to be driven by hydrogen gas. In 1863, Jean-Joseph-Etienne Lenoir constructed a motor vehicle fitted with an atmospheric gas engine which he had invented himself.