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1899 - first electric car

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The 1898 "System Lohner–Porsche" created a press whirlwind across Europe. Lohner received his first order from E.W. Hart, himself a coachbuilder of Luton, Britain. Hart asked for significant modifications. His vehicle was to be capable of running on petrol, as well as electricity, of carrying four passengers, and of employing four-wheel drive. The custom coach was a monster dubbed La Toujours Contente ('always satisfied' in French), a jab at record-holder Camille Jenatzy's electric La Jamais Contente, and was exhibited at the December 1900 Paris Exhibition. The enormous Lohner required 1.8 tonnes of batteries consisting of a 44-cell 80-volt lead-acid battery, all housed in a spring-suspended battery container to protect the fragile cells. The four electric motors weighed a total of 1280 pounds, contributing to a total vehicle weight of over 4 tonnes on its Continental pneumatic tires. With a battery capacity around 270 amp-hours and four forward speeds, the 56-horsepower coach ran in several expositions and competitions. It cost 15,000 Austrian crowns.
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Note: this was not the first electric car, it was the first HYBRID-electric car. Pure electrics were already being sold in the USA in the 1890s and I'm sure they were sold in Europe by then as well. The Electrobat electric was already on sale in 1894, if memory serves - see allpar for details (just search for electrobat and Columbia Electric.)
 
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