Germany was once the center of electromobility. Visionaries developed battery-powered cars more than a century ago. Why was the lead lost? By Marcel Rosenbach

The start-up started with two employees, it only needed an engineer, a mechanic and an idea: to drive electrically, to be clean and quietly mobile, to use electricity instead of gasoline. In months of work, the two men in the engineer’s private garage screwed on their first electric drive, which they first installed in a conventional microcar. It worked, the vehicle purred almost silently through the streets and soon became a talk of the town.

This was the ambition of the two inventors aroused, they wanted to build their own electric car, a completely new model, from the drawing board to the street, that was the plan. First sketches were made on a napkin in a restaurant. Gullwing doors should have it and the widest possible range. And it should be fast, of course. Basically the car with which Elon Musk and Tesla startled the automotive world decades later. But the Tüftlergarage was not in California, but in Kulmbach, start-ups were called.

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