September 3: Ferdinand Porsche was born on this date in 1875

Justin Hyde

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Among his many other laurels, Ferdinand Porsche can lay claim to building the first hybrid gasoline-electric car — in 1900. By that time, Porsche had been working as an engineer for Jacob Lohner & Co. in Vienna for three years, and had already amazed the continent with his first car, the Lohner-Porsche, which was powered by electric motors mounted on the front wheel hubs. The Lohner-Porsche Semper Vivus hybrid added two small gasoline engines which recharged its electric motors, the same idea that Lohner would make popular for trains and other heavy vehicles, and which GM would resurrect for the Chevy Volt more than a century later. A couple of years ago, Porsche recreated the Semper Vivus, to show how its founder's ideas have held up:

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