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.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.
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.
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.