Electric Vehicles - Something from the Past!

The concept of mobility for the future has often been a subject of debate, being the electric vehicles in the leading role. However, and incredible as it may seem, electric vehicles do not belong to the future - they go back to 1898.

At that time, Ferdinand Porsche developed the Egger-Lohner electric vehicle, C.2 Phaeton model (P1), an electric powered vehicle, predecessor of its iconic super sports cars. With about 5 horsepower, it reached speeds of 25km/h.

(Original CITNM photo of the Egger-Lohner C.2 Phaeton (P1) vehicle at the Porsche Museum, Stuttgart)

The electric vehicles’ adventure around the world did not stop there. Two years later, in 1900, Ferdinand Porsche developed an electronic motor for cars that was installed directly on the wheel. With a 2.5 horsepower, the engine allowed it to reach 50km / h. This motorization system was applied in the Lohner-Porsche, a vehicle presented to the world in the Paris World Trade Fair.

(Esquerda: Motorização elétrica para montagem na roda - foto original CITNM no Porsche Museum, Stuttgart,; Direita: Lohner Porsche em 1900 – fotografia da base de dados online do Porsche Museum, https://www.porsche.com/museum/en/milestones/)

However, the market evolution at the time and the increasing availability of fossil fuels led Ferdinand Porsche to develop internal combustion engines, abandoning the electric ones.

More than 100 years later, the context has changed and focusing on environmental concerns led to the need to rethink electric motorization solutions. We, therefore, see that the current automotive industry innovation is based on the long explored and developed concepts by Ferdinand Porsche.

In fact, these days, car manufacturers seek to develop electric motors with greater efficiency and autonomy. They even explore solutions such as the electric motor per wheel, similar to that of the Lohner-Porsche. Take as an example the work resulting from the partnership between Schaeffler and Ford for the eWheelDrive project.

(E-Wheel Drive Electric Wheel Hub Drive, https://www.schaeffler.com/content.mobile.products/en/products/automotive/e_mobility/e_wheel_drive/e_wheel_drive_info.html)

Conhecer a história é fundamental para desenhar o futuro!