Porsche Canada

Prof. Ferdinand Porsche Created a First Functional Hybrid Car

He grown a world’s initial hybrid car, modernized electric car, and all-wheel expostulate automobile a century ago, and now Porsche brings a distraction of his Semper Vivus to New York

NEW YORK Apr 20, 2011 The name Porsche has been compared with pioneering automotive engineering innovations given a commencement of a final century. In 1900 Prof. Ferdinand Porsche denounced his Lohner Porsche, an electric automobile with wheel-hub motors pushing a front wheels. Soon after, this automobile featured all-wheel expostulate and four-wheel brakes, another universe first. A prominence of his early years as an automotive engineer was a Lohner-Porsche Semper Vivus that went down in story 111 years ago as a initial organic hybrid car.

Porsches Semper Vivus (Always Alive) distraction is a reverence to Prof. Porsches idealist invention. The entirely organic Semper Vivus replica, shaped on strange drawings and downright research, is a collaborative bid between Porsche Engineering and Karosseriebau Drescher, a coachbuilding association shaped in Hinterzarten in a state of Baden-Wrttemberg, Germany. This true replica, whose idealist pattern impresses to this really day, is on arrangement during a New York Auto Show press day on Apr 20.

The story of a Lohner-Porsche Semper Vivus

Prof. Ferdinand Porsche was bustling conceptualizing and building his cars as early as 1896. The initial fruit of his endeavors was an electric automobile famous as a Lohner-Porsche. It was driven by directed wheel-hub motors, and it caused a prodigy during a Paris World Exhibition in 1900. This was shortly followed by an even some-more considerable instance of Prof. Porsche innovative spirit. A racing automobile braggadocio 4 wheel-hub electric motors became a worlds initial all-wheel expostulate newcomer automobile and noted a automotive engineering entrance of four-wheel brakes. No reduction idealist was Prof. Porsches subsequent idea; in 1900 he sum his battery-powered circle heart expostulate with a petrol engine, so formulating a sequence hybrid expostulate principle.

Prof. Porsche had entered uncharted domain with a Semper Vivus, a worlds initial functional, full-hybrid car. In this vehicle, dual generators interconnected with petrol engines shaped a singular charging unit, concurrently provision electricity to wheel-hub motors and batteries. In autumn 1900, Prof. Porsche set to work on a initial antecedent with petrol-electric hybrid drive. Presumably he shaped a worlds full hybrid automobile on a acclimatisation of his electric racing automobile from a Semmering-Bergrennen race. To this finish he sum his electrical wheel-hub motors with dual explosion engines and no automatic tie whatsoever to a expostulate axle. Instead, they any gathering an electric generator provision both a wheel-hub motors and accumulators with electricity. This was a birth of sequence hybrid drive. As a full hybrid concept, a Semper Vivus was also means to cover longer distances quite on battery appetite until a explosion engine had to be intent to recharge a batteries.

To save weight and emanate room for a petrol engine, Prof. Porsche substituted a strange 74-cell accumulator in his electromobiles for a smaller battery with usually 44 cells. In a core of a automobile he commissioned dual water-cooled 3.5 PS (2.6 kW) DeDion Bouton petrol engines — pushing dual generators to emanate electricity — any producing 2.5 hp (1.84 kW). Both engines operated independently, any delivering 20 amperes with a voltage of 90 volts. The electricity generated by a dynamos primarily flowed to a wheel-hub motors, with a over-abundance appetite being sent on to a batteries. An combined reward was that it was also probable to use a generators as electric starter motors for a petrol engines by reversing a instruction of rotation.

In practice, Prof. Porsche still had to contend with a principal problem of his wheel-hub cars a vehicles complicated weight. Although a Semper Vivus hybrid cars sum weight was usually 70 kg some-more than a strange version, a 1,200 kg antecedent was a plea for a pneumatic tires soothing rubber mix. In other respects as good a hybrid judgment was still a prolonged approach divided from being prepared for array production. With a incorporeal chassis, unprotected petrol engines and unsprung back axle, a Semper Vivus might have tender visitors to a Paris Motor Show in 1901 though intensity automobile buyers contingency have felt a bare-bones antecedent was not for them. The communication of engine, batteries and control complement also still indispensable a lot of growth and in serve to a desirous control technology, a consistent problem was mud being thrown adult and fouling of a accumulators. Yet a hybrid judgment forked to new possibilities that Prof. Porsche intentionally set about branch into reality.

The highway to a Lohner-Porsche Mixte

In 1901 Prof. Porsche grown a revised judgment of his petrol-electric hybrid automobile into a several that was prepared for array prolongation underneath a Lohner-Porsche Mixte name (borrowing a French tenure voitures mixtes). With a four-cylinder, front-mounted engine, this indication mirrored a Mercedes automobile judgment usually recently designed by Wilhelm Maybach though with a dual wheel-hub motors still adapting to a judgment of a sequence hybrid car. Prof. Porsche was now controlling a absolute 5.5-liter, 25-hp (18 kW) four-cylinder engine from a Austrian Daimler engine association as an electrical generator. The engine was connected by a driveshaft to a electric generator located underneath a seat, with control rubbed by a primary controller subsequent to a steering wheel.

To solve his vehicles weight problems, Prof. Porsche was constantly shortening battery distance while also attempting to pattern a dust-proof battery housing. While a Lohner-Porsche Mixte was usually means to expostulate a few kilometers on electric appetite alone since of a reduced battery capacity, a unladen weight of a four-seat furloughed automobile including physique fell to around 1,200 kg. In normal pushing mode a petrol engine and generator ran during a consistent speed, feeding a wheel-hub motors and battery with electricity during a consistent voltage. In serve to his expostulate concepts high-level of efficiency, a automobile offering other advantages as well. By reversing a polarity, a generator could be used as an electric starter motor, expelling a need for a eager and dangerous palm cranking of a engine.

Before a finish of 1901, Ludwig Lohner and Prof. Ferdinand Porsche had pulled off a important outcome by offered 5 Lohner-Porsche Mixte cars. With a offered cost of approximately 14,000 Krone each, this done a cars really disdainful commodities. The client of this initial array was Emil Jellinek, a obvious ubiquitous representative of a Daimler engine association in Stuttgart-Untertrkheim and a impulse behind a initial Mercedes (named after his daughter) usually a year before. Despite this contact, a team-work agreement to supply Mercedes engines unsuccessful to manifest and usually 7 Lohner-Porsches with Daimler engines were built. From 1903 onwards, petrol engines from Panhard Levassor were used since a vast French automotive manufacturer had acquired a permit rights for France, Great Britain and Italy from Ludwig Lohner.

At about a same time, Prof. Porsche again significantly mutated his cars expostulate concepts. For a weight reasons and to revoke prolongation costs he dispensed with a quite electric pushing capability and shrunk a battery to a smallest for initiating a starter motor. He transposed a vacant appetite storage section with another innovation. The generator, designed as a still armature machine, was propitious with an electro-mechanical speed regulator law as a device for automatically controlling electric generators. Prof. Porsche also ushered in a serve growth in wheel-hub engine technology. A redesigned heart surrounding authorised a kingpins to be relocated closer to a core of a wheel. This steering geometry, law in May 1902, significantly reduced a outcome of highway impacts and a bid indispensable to spin a steering wheel. To revoke a unsprung mass of a wheels, Prof. Porsche also reduced a hole of his wheel-hub motors, that he compensated for by controlling wider windings.

In Apr 1902, carrying incorporated these improvements, Prof. Porsche took his place on a starting grid for a Exelberg race. His two-seat Mixte racing automobile was not usually visually considerable due to a complicated proportions though considerable on a track, as well. His Lohner-Porsche seemed to cope facilely with even a steepest gradients of a 4.2-km sand highway heading adult to a Exelberg, and it emerged as a hero in a vast automobile class. Porsche perceived additional high-profile broadside in a autumn of 1902 when he chauffeured Austrian Archduke Franz Ferdinand in a Lohner-Porsche during a troops maneuver. The superb newcomer seems to have favourite a automobile with a superb furloughed body. Soon after, Prof. Porsche perceived a appreciate we minute testifying usually how confident in each honour his Imperial Majesty was after a ride.

Despite these considerable demonstrations, sales of a Mixte prolongation variants remained distant reduce than expectations. With usually 11 hybrid cars sold, a lapse on investment was not on standard with a huge technical growth costs between 1900 and 1905. The categorical problem was positively a high sales price. Depending on pattern and equipment, a Lohner-Porsche Mixte cost between 14,400 and 34,028 Krone, in some cases creation it roughly twice as costly as comparable, conventionally powered engine vehicles. This was compounded by a high upkeep cost of a formidable expostulate complement that was incompetent to keep gait with a ever augmenting trustworthiness of normal petrol cars. Pure electric vehicles, however, were economically some-more successful. Approximately 65 Lohner-Porsche electric cars were sole during a initial 5 years of array prolongation to a finish of 1905.

The reincarnation of a Semper Vivus

In Nov 2007 a Porsche Museum embarked on one of a many engaging and severe projects in a history: a construction of a true reproduction of a 1900 Lohner-Porsche Semper Vivus. Even 111 years after a invention, building a worlds initial functioning hybrid automobile was a good plea for all. Ultimately it was not usually about an impassioned courtesy to visible sum though also achieving a same opening as a original. The Porsche Museum entrusted a workmanship to a group of experts led by coachbuilder Hubert Drescher, who had already proven his cunning in countless formidable replacement projects. As with a series of racing automobile projects, a aluminum physique of a Porsche Type 64 museum vaunt originates from a Hinterzarten coachbuilder workshop, as well.

Exhaustive investigate in several repository a opposite Europe was a initial step. The outcome was a handful of black-and-white photos and an strange technical sketch portion as a projects foundation. As with Prof. Porsche, a Semper Vivus reproduction primarily began as a vacant piece of paper. This meant that in serve to a good understanding of imagination, a plan compulsory endless investigate and calculations in sequence to be steadily reconstruct an accurate and operative correspondence of a electric wheel-hub motor. Since no specifications or other useful annals had survived, experts primarily combined prepared reckoners and pattern drawings on graph paper in a time-honored fashion. This concerned a perfected investigate and difficult dimensions of photos and drawings. As there was no functioning circle heart engine in existence, technical sum such as opening and operation had to be resurrected and distributed from scratch.

When it came to selecting materials, coachbuilder Drescher took his inspiration, among other sources, from coaches and carriages from a emergence of a 20th Century. This compulsory a assistance of gifted suppliers who were entrusted with a prolongation of a special materials. The entirely functioning Semper Vivus replica, that took approximately 3 years to build, does not only embody reproduction components. For example, it was probable to fit some strange components including explosion engines.

Today, Prof. Ferdinand Porsches innovative suggestion lives on during Porsche AGs Research and Development Center in Weissach, Germany where a association is requesting a engineering strength to rise several hybrid systems. Porsches initial prolongation hybrid, a 2011 Cayenne S Hybrid SUV, is on sale in many markets including a United States. Its together full hybrid complement will be blending for use in a Panamera S Hybrid that goes on sale after this year with a U.S. MSRP of $95,000 (excluding destination). Porsche engineers are bustling building a 911 GT3 R Hybrid racecar for serve foe while stability work on a 918 Spyder plug-in hybrid super sports automobile a association initial showed during a Geneva Auto Show in 2010.

Semper Vivus Facts and Figures

2x Single cylinder De-Dion-Bouton explosion engine
2.5 hp (1.85 kW) per cylinder
Electric engine output:
2.7 hp (2 kW) per wheel
Top speed:
35 km/h (22 mph)
200 km (124 miles)
Overall width:
1,880 mm
Overall length:
3,390 mm
Overall height:
1,850 mm
Total weight:
1.7 tons
Front circle weight (single):
272 kg (with circle heart motor)
Track breadth front:
1,350 mm
Track breadth rear:
1,540 mm
2,310 mm
Ground clearance:
250 mm

About Porsche Cars North America

Porsche Cars North America, Inc. (PCNA), shaped in Atlanta, Ga. is a disdainful U.S. importer of Porsche sports cars, a Cayenne SUV and Panamera Gran Turismo. Established in 1984, it is a wholly-owned auxiliary of Porsche AG, that is headquartered in Stuttgart, Germany, and employs approximately 220 people who yield parts, service, selling and training for 196 dealers. They, in turn, work to yield Porsche business a best-in-class knowledge that is in gripping with a brands 63-year story and care in a enrichment of automobile performance, reserve and efficiency. At a core of this success is Porsches unapproachable racing birthright that boasts some 30,000 motorsport wins to date.

Note: Photos are accessible to accredited reporters on a Porsche Press Database during Video footage is accessible to purebred users during

Contact: Porsche Cars North America, Inc.

Steve Janisse
General Manager, Public Relations
[email protected]

Dave Engelman
Product Communications Manager
[email protected]


Follow us:

Leave a Reply