Porsche's first car, in 1889, was electric

The first Porsche car ever built was unveiled in Stuttgart, Germany, on Monday. It had been sitting in an old shed in Austria since 1902.

The car is, officially, the 1889 Egger-Lohner electric car model C.2 Phaeton. It's known as P1, signifying Ferdinand Porsche's first design.

It is an electric-power car, developed by Ferdinand Porsche, who founded the namesake sports-car company in 1948. He was working for car builder Jacob Lohner at the time, and Lohner assigned Porsche to come up with an electric drivetrain.

It was a rear-mounted, three-horsepower electric, capable of just topping 20 mph and of going about 50 miles on a charge.

Phaeton (in mythology, the son of the god Eos) refers to an open car with front and back seats, derived from horse-drawn carriages of similar configuration.

The car shows that automaker Porsche has plenty of battery-power heritage. Today, one of its quicker models is the $100,000 Panamera gas-electric hybrid sedan. A TV ad shows it driving faster than electric wires can spread news of its performance.

Porsche also fields the 918 Spyder gas-electric hybrid race car.


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