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.

Limitations
Limitations
What made Porsche's electric car so revolutionary was the manufacturing simplicity and energy efficiency engendered by placing the motors directly at the wheel hubs.

With no transmission or cables of any sort needed to carry energy from the motors to the wheels, 83 percent of the energy used by the car actually went to move the car. That compares to less than 40 percent for modern internal combustion engines.

Despite that, Porsche's electric car design was severely limited by the available battery technology. Batteries couldn't hold enough electricity for long trips, and they wore out quickly. Adding more power and range meant adding lots more weight.

Battery power also made the cars quite expensive. Typical buyers were wealthy industrialists like Emil Jellenik, the Daimler Motor Co. investor who demanded that that company name its cars after his daughter, Mercedes.


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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.