Ferdinand Porsche landed his first technical job working for Jacob Lohner in 1900. Thier first car, the System Lohner-Porsche, used wheel mounted electric motors. Later cars used Daimler derived motors to power the electric engines. These systems were very elegant solutions as they did not use drive shafts, transmissions gears, chains, or clutches.
Around 300 Lohner-Porsche’s were completed until the patents were sold to Emil Jellinek of Mercedes.
Porsche on the Lohner-Porsche
Porsche can look back on more than a century of all-wheel-drive technology. The first vehicle of this type was a Lohner Porsche racing car which Ferdinand Porsche personally delivered to his customer E. W. Hart in Luton, just north of London. We have no record of how many races Hart won with this vehicle, but we do know that in1901 Ferdinand Porsche himself won the Exelberg Rally driving a similar vehicle.
Porsche used his latest development: the wheel hub motor, praised in the contemporary press as an epoch-making innovation, to power his first all-wheel-drive automobile. Porsche’s wheel hub motor functioned without gears and driveshafts because the wheel, which was connected directly to the rotor of the direct current motor, rotated around the stator which was attached to the wheel suspension. The drive mechanism therefore worked without friction losses to an extraordinary efficiency level of 85 percent. This Porsche invention was even employed by NASA when its moon car explored the surface of the moon. Today, international car manufacturers are using this technology for the development of future emission-free vehicles.