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First-Ever Porsche Rediscovered: Electric Power from 1898!

George Kennedy
January 28, 2014

When you ask most people what the first car ever made was, Americans typically (and wrongly) answer the Model T Ford. Sure, that was the first mass-produced automobile, thus making it affordable to the average consumer, but the 1908 Model T was far from the first horseless carriage on the market. The Germans had been at it since the 1890s, and evidence of that is the very first Porsche ever– an electric vehicle from 1898. This vintage EV was recently discovered, untouched since 1902.

RELATED: 1919 Audi Heritage Slaby-Beringer Electric Car

Ferdinand Porsche debuted the vehicle, dubbed the Egger-Lohner C.2 Phaeton, on the streets of Vienna in 1989. It was one of the first vehicles of its kind on the Austrian streets– or anywhere else in the world, for that matter.


RELATED: Meet Another Early Porsche – the 1900 “Semper Vivus” Hybrid

The electric drivetrain weighed in at 286 pounds and could deliver 3 hp, or 5 hp in “overloading” mode. It had a range of 50 miles, and could hit a blistering speed of 22 mph. The drivetrain sat underneath what was effectively a modular body– allowing for components to be swapped out based on time of year and intended use. Kind of makes it an early chassis-cab designs, like found in an HD truck lineup.


RELATED: An Early Porsche Sportscar – 1939 Type 64

Feri Porsche was 23 when he crafted this ride, and the brand that bears his name has completely restored it. There is even the engraving of “P1,” as in “Porsche 1.” The first ever Porsche will be on display at the Porsche Museum in Stuttgart, February 1 and 2. If you have the means, we highly recommend you checking it out.