While working at Lohner-Werke, Porsche developed a drivetrain with low-friction by mounting the electric motors to the hubs. These motors directly drove the wheels. Each motor had the capability of 2.5 to 3.5 horsepower and up to a maximum of 7 horsepower for short bursts. In the beginning, the “System Lohner-Porsche” prototypes were two-wheel drive.
Following the announcement of Lohner-Porsche’s electric powertrain, a coachbuilder from Great Britain put in an order. His name was E.W. Hart.
Hart, however, had some modifications he wanted for his Lohner-Porsche “Electromobile.” He required that this electric vehicle run on gas as well, thus the hybrid electric vehicle idea was born.
It was to seat four passengers and include four-wheel drive. Porsche got to work.
The result of Hart’s dream car was the first Lohner-Porsche mixed hybrid vehicle and nicknamed La Toujours Contente (French for “always satisfied”). And satisfied he was. He entered it in the Paris Expedition in 1900.
Hart’s Lohner-Porsche mixed hybrid required almost two tons of 80 volt, lead-acid batteries that had to be encased in a spring-suspended container to protect the cells. These batteries powered 1,280 pounds of electric motors. The four motors were mounted on each of the hubs and created the power to move this nearly 4.4 tons of vehicle. According to the book “Small Wonder” the gasoline engine powered the generators feeding the electric motors.
According to the book “Small Wonder” the gasoline engine was used to power generators feeding the electric motors.