Porsche goes green...100 years ago

At this month's Los Angeles Auto Show, the German performance automaker will unveil its green plan for a new century - the last one.

Wheel hub motors
Wheel hub motors
Ferdinand Porsche's first great fascination as an engineer wasn't with automobiles but electricity. As a youngster, he experimented secretly at home with electricity, and his first engineering job was with an Austrian company that made electrical equipment.

It was there that he was asked to engineer an electric motor that had been requested by Austria's royal carriage manufacturer, Jacob Lohner & Co. The electric motors were to be housed within the carriage's wheels.

After he completed the motor design in 1898, Porsche was hired by Lohner to work on the carriage that would run on the motors.

With an electric motor in each front wheel, the car had a top speed of about 31 miles per hour. Versions of this car won several races, often with Porsche himself at the wheel.

One racing version, created in 1900 and capable of a top speed of 37 miles per hour, had electric motors in all four wheels, allowing Porsche Cars to claim that its founder created the first all-wheel-drive vehicle.


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Most stock quote data provided by BATS. Market indices are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer.

Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Factset: FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved.

Chicago Mercantile Association: Certain market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved.

Dow Jones: The Dow Jones branded indices are proprietary to and are calculated, distributed and marketed by DJI Opco, a subsidiary of S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC and have been licensed for use to S&P Opco, LLC and CNN. Standard & Poor's and S&P are registered trademarks of Standard & Poor’s Financial Services LLC and Dow Jones is a registered trademark of Dow Jones Trademark Holdings LLC. All content of the Dow Jones branded indices © S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC 2014 and/or its affiliates.