Porsche's first ever car - an electric convertible - has been recovered after 112 years in storage

Vehicle hand-built by manufacturer's founder Ferdinand Porsche has been left "untouched"  in a warehouse for more than a century

At first glance it looks more like a horse-drawn carriage than a car, but the 19th-century styling of the first Porsche ever built is hiding a vehicle that was ahead of technologically ahead of its time.

Official known as the “Egger-Lohner electric vehicle, C.2 Phaeton model”, this four-seater was built by hand by Ferdinand Porsche himself in 1898, and according to Porsche it’s been untouched since it was “parked in a warehouse in 1902”.

Also known as the P1 (the code that was engraved on each part, standing for ‘Porsche #1’), the 1350kg vehicle was actually battery powered with a range of up to 80 kilometres or 3-6 operating hours.

With an average output of 3 horsepower (boosted to 5 in ‘overloading mode’) the P1 could reach speeds of up to 35 km/h and was one of the first vehicles ever registered in Porsche’s native Austria. It was even a convertible of sorts, featuring an ‘alternative vehicle body’ that could switch between a closed Coupé style for Winter and open Phaeton design for summer.

Despite their slow return to the mainstream, electric vehicles were fairly popular during the advent of the motor car, with Porsche racing the P1 at the 1899 international motor vehicle exhibition in Berlin alongside 18 other electric vehicles.

Porsche drove the car himself with three passengers on-board, traversing a 40-kilomtere long course that included multiple gradients (no easy feat back then) as well as an 8.6km long racing stretch.

Not only was the P1 was first to cross the finish line (beating second place by a full 18 minutes) but it even managed to come out top in an efficiency test, recording the lowest energy consumption in urban traffic. It's curious to think how different today's cars might be if manufacturers' enthusiasm for electricity had endured.

The P1 has now been restored by Porche and sits in the company's museum in Stuttgart - see the gallery below for more pictures and facts. 

  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant - Dublin

    £13676.46 - £16411.61 per annum + OTE: SThree: SThree Trainee Recruitment Cons...

    Ashdown Group: Marketing or Business Graduate Opportunity - Norwich - £22,000

    £18000 - £22000 per annum + training: Ashdown Group: Business and Marketing Gr...

    SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

    £20000 - £25000 per annum + Commission: SThree: Are you great at building rela...

    Ashdown Group: Database Analyst - Birmingham - £22,000 plus benefits

    £20000 - £22000 per annum + excellent benefits: Ashdown Group: Application Sup...

    Day In a Page

    General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

    Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

    He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
    Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

    'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

    Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
    Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

    Why patients must rely less on doctors

    Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'
    Sarah Lucas is the perfect artist to represent Britain at the Venice Biennale

    Flesh in Venice

    Sarah Lucas has filled the British pavilion at the Venice Biennale with slinky cats and casts of her female friends' private parts. It makes you proud to be a woman, says Karen Wright
    11 best anti-ageing day creams

    11 best anti-ageing day creams

    Slow down the ageing process with one of these high-performance, hardworking anti-agers
    Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

    Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

    Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
    Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

    Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

    Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
    China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

    China's influence on fashion

    At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
    Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

    The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

    Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
    Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

    Rainbow shades

    It's all bright on the night
    'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

    Bread from heaven

    Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
    Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

    How 'the Axe' helped Labour

    UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
    Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

    The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

    A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
    Welcome to the world of Megagames

    Welcome to the world of Megagames

    300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
    'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

    Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

    Starring in one of the most explicit films ever