Hybrids & Electrics

The Taycan is Not Porsche’s First Electric Vehicle

Electric vehicles are quickly gaining popularity on the market. Whether you opt for a more common hybrid option like the widely-disliked Toyota Prius, or you prefer the modern-technology of a fully-electric vehicle like the fun Tesla Model X, the price ranges and types of electric vehicles on the market are growing each and every year. For what seems like new technology, we seem to forget that before cars like the innovative Porsche Taycan came around, electric cars were still available, even over a hundred years ago.

The Porsche Taycan

In the past year, the Porsche Taycan has taken the electric car market by storm. A spectacular combination of luxury and practicality meshes with the cars more than impressive performance. Among the impressive safety features and performance specs, electric car enthusiasts, and Porsche fan’s have all been pleased with everything the Taycan has to offer. For many, an all-electric vehicle appears to be a turning point for Porsche, but many people don’t realize that there was once another fully-electric vehicle in the brand’s fleet.

Blue 2020 Porsche Taycan Turbo driving down the road
2020 Porsche Taycan Turbo | Porsche

The first P1

Before the P1 was a McLaren car, it was also shorthand for the Porsche C.2 Phaeton, designed by Ferdinand Porsche, and put into production in 1898. It was a beautifully-styled open-top four-seater, but more uniquely it was a car completely powered by an electric motor. It had an estimated range of around 49 miles, which wasn’t bad for a car built in the 1800s, and the electric engine produced an incredibly underwhelming 3 horsepower.

The Porsche P1, the very first construction of Ferdinand Porsche, the founder of the sports car manufacturer Porsche is exhibited in Stuttgart-Zuffenhausen, Germany, 31 January 2014. Ferdinand Porsche developed the P1 in 1898 while he was working for Viennese coachbuilding firm Lohner. The electric vehicle was recovered in a barn in Austria last summer | Bernd Weissbrod/picture alliance, Getty Images

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The future of electrics

On June 26th, 1898, the Porsche P1 took to the streets of Vienna, Austria, for its debut. Months later, Ferdinand Porsche entered the P1 into the Berlin Road Race, where it took first place by a shocking 18 minutes. While the car would not be impressive by today’s standards, it was quite the spectacle in 1898. Today, we fall in love with Porsche’s all-electric vehicle capabilities all over again with the debut of the Taycan. Although electric vehicles might not have taken flight at the time of the P1, the current market leads us to believe that their endeavors in the electric car market will be more recognized this time around.

2020 Porsche Taycan
2020 Porsche Taycan | Porsche

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While the Porsche Taycan may be what most people consider the first electric car to bear the Porsche badge, the P1 still holds an important place in the brand’s history.