Peraves AG was founded in 1972 by Swissair Pilot Arnold Wagner. Wagner finished a prototype of an enclosed motorcycle in 1982, and was able to convince the Swiss government to make it street legal in 1985. The vehicle, christened the Ecomobile, was approved by the TÜV, which allowed it to be sold in the EU in 1991.
Peraves produced 90 Ecomobiles from 1991 to 2005 until the main factory in the Czech Republic burned down. In response, Peraves decided to commit to redesigning the Ecomobile. The new, more affordable design was named the MonoTracer. It was named number 41 in Time's list of the 50 best inventions of 2008.
In 2010, Peraves won the $2.5 million Progressive Insurance Automotive X-Prize with an electric powered version of the MonoTracer, renamed the X-Tracer, capable of driving up to 150 miles per hour and accelerating from 0 to 60 in under four seconds. The design was originally suggested by Stefano Parris, an aero-mechanical engineer who saw the gas version on display.