In the last couple of years, green car enthusiasts have gotten all hot and bothered by the idea of cars like the Tesla Roadster, Zap-X and Chevrolet Volt. And while these cars and others seem incredibly innovative today, in reality they all have roots in cars built over a century ago by one of the true innovators in the history of the automobile, Ferdinand Porsche.

Most know Porsche for the line of sports cars bearing his name or a round little car that came from Wolfsburg Germany or the insanely fast Auto Union Grand Prix cars of the 1930s. Early in his career in 1898, Porsche developed an electric hub motor design that was incorporated into a series of cars that eventually won a number of competitions. Ultimately Porsche even developed a series hybrid version with an engine that only ran a generator to charge the batteries. Sound familiar? Then, as now, the limiting factor was battery technology. A 1900 example will be shown on the Porsche stand at the LA Auto Show next week alongside the new Cayenne hybrid which is being displayed in the US for the first time.

[Source: CNN Money]