May 28, 2023


Automotive and technology

The Semper Vivus – Porsche’s First Hybrid Car


Porsche Semper Vivus

A century before Toyota launched the Prius, Ferdinand Porsche pioneered the 1st gasoline-electric powered hybrid motorcar.

Most men and women credit Toyota or Honda for developing the very first output hybrid fuel-electric powered car. Very first developed in 1999, the Toyota Prius and Honda Insight entered the U.S. sector when fuel was $1.50 a gallon. Nevertheless, a different business built a gas-electrical hybrid extra than 100 several years prior to that. Most of what we know about that business was shed to history. But we do know anything about the inventor – a younger gentleman named Ferdinand Porsche.

In 1896 Ferdinand Porsche patented the steered-wheel-hub electrical motor. Developed as a practical alternative to the mechanical transmission, it adopted the exact rules utilised these days – batteries powering an electric travel powertrain. And if individuals batteries ran out of electricity, two combustion engines served as selection extenders. Like fashionable battery-electric motor vehicles, the combustion engines did not electrical power the wheels. Rather, they driven two turbines that produced the electrical energy needed to go on driving.

Porsch-Lohner Mixte

Porsche joined Ludwik Lohner & Co. a Vienna-dependent carriage maker in 1899. The firm saw Porsche’s suggestions as the critical to its results in the auto market place. The Semper Vivus debuted at the Paris Motor exhibit the following year, causing a feeling. But the body weight of the batteries and the blend of two gasoline engines proved impractical. Porsche simplified the design and style, removing a single of the engines and including a shaft to ability the generator. Identified as the Lohner-Porsche Mixte, with Mixte the French phrase for “mixed”, the enhanced automobile entered production in 1901.

Porsche Semper Vivus

Not extended in the past, Porsche manufactured this replica of the Semper Vivus from patent drawings and pictures. While the Semper Vivus employs a typical steering wheel, driving it is fully distinctive from a contemporary car. Alternatively of a gas pedal, you have a lateral management lever with six speeds. Starting off, the driver shifts by the pace settings right until reaching a prime speed of all around 22 mph. The car or truck is hefty in comparison to its modified horse carriage contemporaries, weighing above 2,600 kilos, 50 % of which is around the entrance wheels. At prime pace, the automobile had an electric selection of about 30 miles. Just after that, the driver manually engaged the gasoline engines to keep on driving.

Porsche Semper Vivus

Porsche ongoing to modify and refine his hybrid style. He entered the Lohner-Porsche Mixte at the Exelburg Hillclimb in 1902 and took very first spot in the significant-car course. The Lohner-Porsche Mixte remained in generation right up until 1915 but gross sales never caught on. Sold for 14,400 Austrian Krone in 1901, the equal of just more than $100,000 these days, the price tag doubled by the conclusion of its run.

By then gasoline engines had develop into the major source of electricity for vehicles and other sources including steam and energy died off. Environment War I took maintain of the European continent and Austria-Hungary centered on developing gear for its army. Ludwig Lohner went on to found Lohner-Werke, making aircraft for the war work. As for Ferdinand Porsche, Daimler recruited him as the main designer. The firm later on merged with Benz & Cie. starting to be Daimler-Benz. Porsche made quite a few notable race cars and trucks for Daimler-Benz prior to leaving to commence his very own consulting company. And it was that agency, Dr. Ing. h.c. F. Porsche GmbH, which at some point became the Porsche AG we know today.

Images: Porsche AG

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Mark Webb

Mark Webb is fascinated by just about anything automotive and specifically loves vehicles that are unconventional or have a excellent tale. He is owned a wide range of automobiles from 60’s muscle mass, Japanese imports, and oddities like a VW Point and Porsche 924. Immediately after 20 yrs in the automotive and tech industries, he is a walking encyclopedia of auto facts and is often on the lookout for his upcoming project or a superior road journey.


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