I recently got an email from Brian Harper, who is the Deputy Editor, Post Driving for the National Post, a major Canadian newspaper. Brian is a real car guy and I enjoy our frequent exchanges on issues related to cars. Below is a picture that Brian sent to me of him, taken early this spring while he was in Germany, driving a replica of an early electric car designed by Dr. Ferdinand Porsche.
National Post’s Brian Harper driving the Lohner-Porsche Electric Car Replica
This is a re-creation of the 1900 Lohner-Porsche hybrid that was unveiled by Porsche at the Geneva Motor Show at the beginning of March. (The real car had long since disappeared). This car uses two de Dion gasoline engines to charge the accumulator, which consists of 44 single-cell batteries. And, yes, those are electric motors in the front hub (each weighs 270 kg.). Hubert Drescher, the guy who built this, was working from 2 grainy black and white photos and one technical drawing. It took him three years to build it. Very impressive!
Perhaps many people would be surprised that Ferdinand Porsche’s first work with automobiles was with electric cars. Porsche was quite young at this time as it should be noted that in 1900, when the above car was designed and built, Porsche was only 25 years old.