Porsche – Pioneer of electric mobility

Porsche – this name stands for sporty premium vehicles that automotive fans across the globe have been raving about since 1948. But the brand’s historic roots go much further back. In the year 1897, Ferdinand Porsche had already begun to work on the design and development of electric vehicles.

The first result was the Egger-Lohner electric car model C.2 Phaeton. In 1898, Ferdinand Porsche implanted an electric motor with a bevel gear differential that he had designed himself into a chassis by the company “k.u.k. Hof-Wagen-Fabrik Lohner & Co.” which had front axle steering. The motor, which was named the “Octogon” motor, because of its eight-sided housing, had a power output of 3-5 HP. A battery at the rear of the vehicle, which weighted around 550 kg, supplied the electricity. At a top speed of 25 km/h, the car could be driven up to 6 hours on one battery charge. The vehicle was braked by a mechanical band brake and an electric brake. The driving speed was controlled via a 12-stage “Controller”.

This was followed soon thereafter by an electric vehicle powered by a steered wheel hub motor named the “Lohner Porsche”, which caused quite a sensation at the Paris World Exhibition in 1900. And Ferdinand Porsche always demonstrated his innovative power in an impressive way. A race car equipped with four electric wheel hub motors became the world’s first all-wheel drive passenger car, which also impressed with four wheel brakes. No less visionary was the next idea of Ferdinand Porsche: also in the year 1900, he combined his battery-powered wheel hub drives with a petrol engine – and the principle of the serial hybrid drive was born.

In creating the world’s first functionally operational full-hybrid automobile, the “Semper Vivus”, Ferdinand Porsche embarked into new technological territory. In this vehicle, two generators coupled to petrol engines formed a charging unit that also supplied the wheel hub motors and batteries with electrical energy. Ferdinand Porsche took his concept of the hybrid drive to production readiness as the Lohner-Porsche “Mixte” and beginning in 1906 as the “Mercedes Electrique”.

115 years after the first hybrid automobile from Ferdinand Porsche, Porsche is taking this innovative path in drive technology to the next logical step. Today, Porsche assumes a top position in the overall automotive industry with three vehicles featuring plug-in hybrid drives in its model line-up (Cayenne S E-Hybrid, Panamera S E- Hybrid and 918 Spyder).