On 6th June 2019, Bidwriting.com Director Martyn Curley attended the ‘Ferdinand Porsche – Master of Mechatricity’ lecture by Karl Ludvigsen CIMechE MSAE, visiting lecturer at Cranfield University. The event is sponsored by Porsche Club of Great Britain and the Institution of Mechanical Engineers.
Although justly famed for his creation of such iconic vehicles as the Auto Union Grand Prix cars and the Volkswagen Beetle, Ferdinand Porsche was dedicated to the use of electricity in drive trains and pursued this goal throughout his working life. Indeed the first vehicle that drew attention to Porsche was his electric auto of 1900, the Lohner-Porsche. This had motors in its driving wheels that were a uniquely successful technology of the era. Lohner of Vienna commercialised the patented concept in the production of electric autos, taxes, trucks, fire engines and coaches, 354 in all up to 1906. In 1901 Porsche built a hybrid vehicle—though his was not the first—and a car with an electrical power train. The latter was a technique that he perfected as his “Mixte” drive over decades and for which he received the Pötting Prize. Porsche used it to drive road trains, automobiles and ultimately in World War 2 a Tiger tank prototype, a tank destroyer and a 180-ton Megatank. Porsche also patented such electrical applications as airplane drives and supercharger clutches.