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 |  Dec 10 2012, 2:02 PM

Lohner-Porsche

Think Toyota’s Prius was the first gasoline-electric hybrid? Think again. That distinction goes to a vehicle produced more than a century ago. See, they really did think of everything back then!

Called the Lohner-Porsche, it was the world’s first series hybrid. As its name suggests, the vehicle was the result of a partnership between Ferdinand Porsche and an Austrian carriage-maker, the “Lohner” half of things.

As for the vehicle, it featured four electric hub motors, one mounted in each wheel. It was hauled around by an array of onboard batteries that were juiced by a small generator. In concept it’s identical to modern hybrid vehicles. However, in practice it was quite different.

The open-air car was hugely expensive to manufacture and required literally tons of lead-acid batteries. Given the excessive weight it was extremely impractical. (Sounds like a familiar problem). The Lohner-Porsche was hampered by the battery technology of its era, as are today’s all-electric cars. Still, it was an idea that was nearly a century ahead of its time.

  • Tomst37

    I loved this. It was really interesting and informative.

    Thanks

  • Greenjeep1998

    Don’t know if you knew this Craig, but the Eagles and Cherokees were sold side by side for a short period of time since AMC owned Jeep for the last 20 years before being bought by Chrysler for the Jeep brand. IIRC, Chrysler’s Turbine program was started shortly after WW2 and died right around the time they went bankrupt the first time. Even though the turbine engine has yet to make it into a regular production vehicle, Chrysler had some ownership in the manufacturer of the Abrams tanks and I’ve often wondered how much of their turbine tech went into the Abrams instead.

    BTW, the Turbine Cars weren’t the only Mopars capable of burning whiskey……..their 2.7l and Pentastar V-6′s as well as the 4.7l V-8 are all built to be capable of burning corn whiskey. The Pentastar is quite fond of the stuff and my 4.0l I-6 Jeep don’t seem to mind a couple gallons being splash blended every once in a while too :D

  • Craig Cole

    No, I had no idea!  That’s really interesting but not as interesting as Chrysler helping build tank engines.  That’s really cool.  You must be a Pentastar Historian.