About 30 years before Ferdinand Porsche designed the Volkswagen Beetle, he created the Egger-Lohner electric vehicle, C.2 Phaeton model – or simply, the P1 – you see above. This was the first vehicle created by Porsche, and the car gets its nickname from the fact that he had stamped "P1" on many of the parts marking it as the first Porsche... sorry, 356 No. 1.
We all know the story of the Volkswagen Beetle: In his vision to motorize Germany, Adolf Hitler wanted a "People's Car" of sound design and quality to transport the subjects of his Third Reich around an expanding empire. The Beetle became that car. It made automotive and world history, two of Germany's biggest automakers and Ferdinand Porsche's career. But was it really his design as history recorded? New evidence suggests otherwise.
Over the past decade, if there is one word that has become synonymous with green motoring it is hybrid. Ever since Toyota launched the first modern commercially viable hybrid with the original Prius (above) in 1997, over one million of them have hit the roads. Of course, as is so often the case, this overnight sensation was anything but. In fact, the technology was nearly a century in the making.