Electric cars are not a modern invention and an electric Porsche might sound something awful to many porschephiles, but not lets forget the first car designed by Ferdinand Porsche was in fact an electric vehicle.
Ferdinand Porsche presented the “Egger-Lohner C.2 Phaeton model (also known as P1) in 1898 and now after 116 years the original and and unrestored vehicle has been recovered and is set to enrich the Porsche Museum’s collection.
The Egger-Lohner C.2 Phaeton featured an electric powertrain that weighed 130kg, producing 3bhp linked to a 12-speed “controller” which enabled the model to hit a top speed of 21.7 mph (35km/h) and travel up to 50mph on a single charge.
The “P1” was designed and built by Ferdinand Porsche, and was one of the first vehicles registered in Austria. Porsche engraved the code “P1” (standing for Porsche, number 1) onto all of the key components, thus giving the electric vehicle its unofficial name.
The “P1” was also used in an EV rally in 1899 that covered over 24 miles (40km) in Berlin. The route was not easy with challenges such as gradients, but with three passengers on board, Ferdinand Porsche successfully steered his “P1” across the finish line 18 minutes ahead of the next competitor with more than half the participants failed to reach the finish line due to technical difficulties.
In addition the “P1” won the efficiency test, as it recorded the lowest energy consumption in urban traffic.
Even though this was the first car designed by Ferdinand Porsche it took a while until the first sportscar to bear the Porsche name was out – the Type 356 was launched after World War II in 1948.
Could Porsche turn back to its roots one day and offer a fully electric vehicle? Well we wouldn’t be surprised if we see such a vehicle in less than five years.