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. 

Voices
On the last day of campaigning before the polling booths open, the SNP leader has written to voters in a final attempt to convince them to vote for independence
scotland decidesIs a huge gamble on oil keeping the First Minister up at night?
Arts and Entertainment
Rosalind Buckland, the inspiration for Cider with Rosie died this week
booksBut what is it like to be the person who inspires a classic work of art?
Life and Style
techApple has just launched its latest mobile operating software – so what should you do first?
News
A male driver reverses his Vauxhall Astra from a tow truck
newsThe 'extremely dangerous' attempt to avoid being impounded has been heavily criticised
PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment
Lionel Messi in action for Barcelona
filmSo what makes the little man tick?
Arts and Entertainment
tvReview: An undercooked end (spoiler alert)
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Pharrell dismissed the controversy surrounding
musicThe singer said 'the last thing I want to do is degrade'
Sport
Cesc Fabregas celebrates his first Chelsea goal
footballChelsea vs Schalke match report
Arts and Entertainment
Toby Jones (left) and Mackenzie Crook in BBC4’s new comedy The Detectorists
tvMackenzie Crook's 'Detectorists' makes the hobby look 'dysfunctional', they say
Life and Style
fashion

Olympic diver has made his modelling debut for Adidas

News
i100
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

    ICT Teacher, full time supply role, Isle of Sheppey

    Competitive Salary: Randstad Education Group: The Job: Our client school is lo...

    Maths Teacher

    £110 - £200 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Secondary Maths Teacher for spe...

    Maths Teacher

    £90 - £160 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Secondary Science Teacher (mater...

    Maths Teacher

    £110 - £200 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Secondary Maths Teacher for an ...

    Day In a Page

    Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

    A shot in the dark

    Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
    His life, the universe and everything

    His life, the universe and everything

    New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
    Reach for the skies

    Reach for the skies

    From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
    These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

    12 best hotel spas in the UK

    Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
    These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

    Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

    Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
    Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

    Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

    Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
    How to make a Lego masterpiece

    How to make a Lego masterpiece

    Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
    Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

    Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

    Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
    Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

    Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

    His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
    'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

    'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

    Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
    Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

    Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

    The Imitation Game, film review
    England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

    England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

    Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
    Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

    Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

    Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
    ‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

    ‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

    Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week