cartechboy (2660665) writes "We all talk about the Tesla Model S and Nissan Leaf as if electric cars are brand-new. Reality check: Electric cars were around long before you were alive, or your father, or maybe even your grandfather. In fact, it turns out that the very first Porsche ever built was an electric car--way back in 1898. It wasn't called a Porsche, but an "Egger-Lohner electric vehicle, C.2 Phaeton model"--or P1 for short. Designed by Ferdinand Porsche when he was just 22 years old, it has a rear electric drive unit producing all of 3 horsepower--and an overdrive mode to boost that to a frightening 5 hp! It had an impressive range of 49 miles, not that much less than many of today's plug-in cars. Porsche recently recovered the P1 from a warehouse--where it has supposedly sat untouched since 1902--and plans to display it in original, unrestored condition at the Porsche Museum in Zuffenhausen, Germany. So what have we learned? First, Porsche is no stranger to electric cars. Second, electric cars aren't quite as new as you may have thought"