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Back to the future: electric-drive Lohner-Porsche at the L.A. Auto Show

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November 11, 2007

Lohner-Porsche Electric Voiturette System

Lohner-Porsche Electric Voiturette System

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November 12, 2007 Porsche will present a fascinating historical treat alongside the Cayenne Hybrid SUV at the upcoming Los Angeles Auto Show – the 108 year old electric-drive Lohner-Porsche. One of the world’s first zero emission vehicles and an early forerunner to environmentally friendly technologies like the Full-Parallel-Hybrid system now being showcased in the Cayenne prototype, the Lohner-Porsche was first unveiled at the Paris World Fair in 1900 and its appearance in L.A. this month will be the first ever public display outside Europe.

Developed by Ferdinand Porsche for Austrian royal carriage manufacturer, Jacob Lohner & Co, the Lohner-Porsche Electric Voiturette System, with its futuristic electric wheel hub motors, was the world's first advanced electric car and led to the production of the first gas-electric hybrid car.

On loan from the Technical Museum in Vienna, Austria, the Lohner-Porsche features a chassis and body made of wood and one internal-pole motor on each of the front-wheel hubs. The vehicle has a top speed of around 28 – 36 mph with the motors achieving an output of 2.5/3.5 hp with short bursts of 7 hp. Power is drawn from a forty-four cell 80-volt lead battery which enables approximately three hours use. Overall weight 2,160 lb.

Its modern counterpart – the Cayenne Hybrid SUV – will be on display at the same stand in L.A. The Full-Parallel-Hybrid System achieves fuel economy of 9.8 liters/100 km (24 miles per gallon) and speeds of up to 120 kmh (75 mph) without the use of the combustion engine. Plans are in motion for a production model to hit showroom floors before the end of the decade.

About the Author
Noel McKeegan After a misspent youth at law school, Noel began to dabble in tech research, writing and things with wheels that go fast. This bus dropped him at the door of a freshly sprouted Gizmag.com in 2002. He has been Gizmag's Editor-in-Chief since 2007.   All articles by Noel McKeegan
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