The thought that the fire department was relying on horse and cart and a mechanical water pump once, sends cold shivers down our spine. We’re really accustomed to see superfast emergency vehicles speeding by and to watch water fountains squirting from motorized pumps.
It does not surprise us that Ferdinand Porsche has decisively contributed to the motorized fire department. In 1902 the Hanover Fire Department was the first one in Germany to operate a fire engine with electric drive and steam-powered pump. As a 21-year old boy at the Lohner works Ferdinand Porsche developed the wheel hub motor, with the idea to minimize the power transmission paths by installing the electric motors in the front wheels. This innovation led to vast improvements over its predecessor Models and surely saved many a house from burning to the ground.