posted on Nov, 13 2007 @ 07:32 AM
The first hybrid car is a 100-year-old Porsche!
The car had in-wheel electric motors and an onboard gas engine to recharge the batteries. This makes the car a serial hybrid (only one engine drives
the wheels) like the Volt, instead of a paralell hybrid (both engines drive the wheels) like the Prius.
And the car, on the whole, was quite a breakthrough at the time.
The in-wheel electric motors were an absolute stroke of genius as they significantly increased the vehicle's efficiency by removing all mechanical
Unlike the Volt, the 1901 Porsche hybrid could only be charged by its onboard engine. Unlike its all-electric predecessors, it didn't have a plug.
Unfortunately, Porsche didn't see any reason to continue development of these hybrid vehicles, as gasoline became exceptionally cheap, and the extra
electric motors were prohibitively expensive.
And now, 100 years later, the last thing Porsche is concerned with is efficiency.
Porsche will have one of their antique electric cars on display at this week's Los Angeles Auto Show. They're using it to promote their new green
initiative. Unfortunately, there's no real story there, as Porsche seems to be more interested in luxury SUVs than plug-in hybrids.
Link to hybrid story.
I wonder how it would be now if this concept stuck 100 years ago? Guess we will never know!