Thursday, January 30, 2014

A Coal-Powered ... Porsche?

Porsche's 1898 e-car returns after a century in storage
On June 26, 1898, Ferdinand Porsche's "Egger-Lohner C.2 electric vehicle," better known as the "P-1," rolled on to the streets of Vienna for the first time. In 1899, the P-1 took the gold medal (by a full 18 minutes!) against a field of other electric vehicles in Berlin. Then in 1902, as Porsche put the first all-wheel drive passenger car into production, the P-1 was parked in a warehouse...where it sat untouched for the next 111 years.

After missing two world wars, the entire Berlin Wall era, and six "Fast and Furious" flicks during the intervening 11 decades, Porsche says in a release (PDF) the P-1 has now been recovered and is on permanent display, unrestored, at the Porsche Museum in Stuttgart, Germany.
Over 115 years since that car rolled off the line, and we still can't make electric cars that are as robust as gasoline-powered vehicles. Either you believe in some grand, vast, and mysterious conspiracy, or you have to admit that, just maybe, the physics of powering a personal craft using stored power just don't mesh with technology.

Sure is an interesting looking vehicle, though:

Now, the turn of the 19th to 20th century was a time of amazing breakthroughs and technological advances. Telephones, electric lights, automobiles, airplanes; it must have been a simply amazing time to have been alive. So much of what we take for granted now was brand new then; it's not surprising that several different sources of power were tested to make automobiles go. Judging from the motor in the rear wheels, I'd wager that car didn't travel particularly fast nor for very long - but then again, neither did the gasoline powered variants at the time, either.

I do have to wonder what the people of 2130 will think of our cars, though...

That is all.


skidmark said...

About "sotred energy" - You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

Being pedantic about things, gasoline and deisel are also stored energy.

But yeah, we know what you mean.

stay safe.

Ted said...

The story goes that one of the first trips taken was by the good doctor's wife when she drove it down the valley to the next town to visit her sister some 20 km away one weekend when Dr Porsche was away. A somewhat "unauthorized" trip but never the less highly successful.

Daniel in Brookline said...

Does anybody remember what Robert Heinlein had to say about automobiles in his juvenile novel The Rolling Stones>?

I'd have to go look it up, but he made quite a mockery of them!

re: the Porsche: Jay, did you say "unrestored"? That's one fine-looking hundred-year-old piece of equipment right there.

Lincoln Madison said...

It is important to choose based on your specific needs and wants in a Business Phone Service. Compare different companies.