Do Your Students Think Electric Vehicles are New?  Porsche Proves Differently!

Despite having been available for some time, electric vehicles are still the talk of the town.  “It gets the equivalent of 100 miles per gallon?  Sign me up!”  But are your students thinking that electric vehicles are new?  Au contraire!  In fact, there was a time when electric vehicles outnumbered vehicles powered by internal combustion engines.  But that was long ago…

A recent discovery of the first Porsche ever built confirms the long history of electric vehicles.  Called the “P1,” Ferdinand Porsche’s first car was all-electric, and was built in 1898.  That is over 115 years ago!  P1 was powered by a 3 horsepower electric motor, and could seat four people.  Its range was 50 miles, which is not bad, considering modern electric vehicles can go only about 100 miles before needing to be recharged.

Pure electric vehicles may not meet the needs of many drivers today.  However, the “electrification” of vehicles is expanding, evidenced by the release of “hybrid” vehicles, which use both electric and internal combustion motors.  Many hybrids can run purely on electric power for quite some time, before needing the other motor.  The benefits of such vehicles are adding up lower fuel costs, reduced exhaust emissions, and lower operating costs.

For many drivers, these benefits outweigh the higher initial purchase costs, and it’s likely that we will see more and more of “electrified” vehicles on the road.  And if your students start to think this is all-new technology, just relay the story about the first electric vehicle ever, the venerable Porsche P1.

Photo courtesy of Porsche