In order to be able to use modern locomotives on the 3,000 V electrified routes after the Second World War, Škoda decided to license foreign components. The necessary support was found in Switzerland from the companies Sécheron and SLM, which resulted in the E 499.01 series. The locomotive, designated by the manufacturer as 12E, reached 120 km/h with an hourly output of 2,344 kW and could therefore be used in front of express, passenger and light freight trains. As is usual with DC locomotives, the power was regulated using series-parallel circuits and resistors. The prototype was operational in 1953 and was tested in Poland until the Czechoslovak main line was fully electrified. 99 series pieces followed until 1958.
In order to save on license fees and end dependence on foreign technology, the bogies developed with Swiss help for the E 499.0 were replaced with in-house developments, thus creating the class E 499.1. A distinguishing feature of these locomotives were the four rectangular engine room windows on each side, while the E 499.0 had six round windows. A prototype was built in 1957 with the manufacturer's designation 20E and in 1959 and 1960 60 pieces of the series variant 30E were built. The self-developed bogies initially caused problems, but these could be turned off over time.
The 499.1 was also initially used in front of all types of trains. When the E 499.2, also from Škoda, was introduced in 1978, the older locomotives were increasingly used for slower trains. The introduction of the E 499.3 from 1984 pushed them even further out of service. The engines still available in 1988 were reclassified as the classes 140 and 141. In 2016, only two engines of the class 141 were reported to be still active at CD. While some locomotives are preserved in museums or as monuments today, a few are still used by private operators in Poland, Slovakia and the Czech Republic.