Porsche Museum Helmut Pfeifhofer - Gmünd
PORSCHE HERITAGE: FROM ELECTRIC TO ELECTRIC
Bruxelles, Autoworld, inverno 2013-14
From 6/12/2013 to 19/01/2014 the exhibition to celebrate a century of Porsche electric cars took place in Brussels: from the 1900 Lohner-Porsche to the 918 Spyder.
While products and technologies designed and created by Porsche now look back at more than 100 years of successful history, the first car bearing the brand name Porsche was homologated by the state government of Kärnten in Austria „only“ on 8 June 1948 – the very first Porsche 356 to see the light of day.
The evolution of Porsche in the realm of electric cars is a fascinating journey that spans more than a century. While Porsche is known for its iconic sports cars with powerful internal combustion engines, the company has also been involved in the development of electric and hybrid vehicles. The exhibition let us explore Porsche's electric car history .
The electric powertrain is embedded deep in the Porsche DNA. The young Ferdinand Porsche was fascinated by electricity even as a teenager. As early as 1893, the 18-year-old installed an electric lighting system in his parents' house. In the same year Porsche joined Vereinigte Elektrizitäts-AG Béla Egger in Vienna. After four years there, he progressed from mechanic to head of the testing department. The first vehicles he designed also had electric drives — so the history of Porsche begins with the electric drive.
In 1898, Ferdinand Porsche designed the Egger-Lohner C.2 Phaeton. The vehicle was powered by an octagonal electric motor, and with three to five PS it reached a top speed of 25 km/h. But the real breakthrough appened shortly later, in 1899, when Porsche joined the carriage maker in Vienna, k.u.k. Hofwagenfabrik Ludwig Lohner & Co, where he developed the electric wheel hub motor.
A series of succesfull designs followed, e.g.:
- Lohner-Porsche Mixte Hybrid (1900): In 1900, the first Lohner-Porsche Electromobile with this innovation was presented at the Expo in Paris. With 2 x 2.5 PS it reached a top speed of 37 km/h. Lohner’s reason for a vehicle with an electric motor sounds as topical today as it did then, especially in relation to the era of mass motorisation: the air was “ruthlessly spoiled by the large number of petrol engines in use”. This vehicle is often considered one of the first hybrid cars in the world. It combined an internal combustion engine with electric motors on the front wheels, making it capable of running on electricity alone, gasoline power, or a combination of both.
- Porsche 356 SL Electric (1948): In the late 1940s, Porsche experimented with electric powertrains. They created an electric version of their 356 sports car called the 356 SL Electric. It was used in various motorsport events to showcase the potential of electric propulsion.
- Porsche 911 GT3 R Hybrid (2010): After a hiatus of many decades, more than a century after the Paris show, Porsche continued to explore hybrid technology with the introduction of the 911 GT3 R Hybrid. This race car featured a hybrid system that used a flywheel energy storage system and electric motors to provide extra power during racing.
- Porsche Panamera S Hybrid (2011): Porsche's first production hybrid car was the Panamera S Hybrid, introduced in 2011. It combined a V6 gasoline engine with an electric motor for improved efficiency and reduced emissions.
- Porsche 918 Spyder (2013-2015): The Porsche 918 Spyder marked a significant milestone in Porsche's electric car journey. It was a limited-production hybrid hypercar that combined a high-revving V8 engine with two electric motors, one on each axle. This setup allowed for electric-only driving, enhanced performance, and impressive fuel efficiency.
Porsche has demonstrated its dedication to electric and hybrid technology, combining its legacy of high-performance sports cars with the advantages of electrification. The brand continues to innovate and expand its electric vehicle offerings, reflecting the broader trend in the automotive industry towards sustainable mobility.
The exhibition is not limited to the electric / hybrid powertrains. The internal combustion engine took over at the turn of the XX century and to the bulk of the Porsche production.
Among the other 40-odd cars shown we would like to mention the fabolous Austro-Daimler of the prewar and interwar period; the racing breed 904-906-908-917; the Carrera Abarth GTL and many more.
A selection of picture you will find the gallery here below; many others, on our social media. Enjoy!