Flocken, the first electric car from 1988

The Flocken electric car is an early electric vehicle developed by the Coburg manufacturer Andreas Flocken in 1888 and built by the A. Flocken machine factory. It is considered the first four-wheel electric car to be manufactured in Germany.

Flocken electric car, reconstruction – (photo by Franz Haag)

Andreas Flocken joined his A. Flocken machine factory in Coburg in 1888 with a department for electrical engineering and from then on experimented with electric vehicles. In the same year, the first came Flocken electric car . This vehicle was originally a carriage, similar to the Daimler motor carriage from 1886 by Gottlieb Daimler, but was equipped with an electric motor. Little is known about Flocken’s development work. In 1888 he fitted a high-wheeled, iron-tipped carriage (high center of gravity, narrow track width, Turntable steering etc.) with an electric motor, the power of about 0.9 kW was transferred to the rear axle by means of leather straps. The wooden vehicle is said to have reached a top speed of 15 km/h and weighed 400 kg.

In the following years, further models were developed. There is a photo of a two-seater in the Deutsches Museum, taken around 1903. This model had a steering knuckle, pneumatic tires and equally large spoke wheels with ball bearings as well as full elliptical springs and a battery box above the front axle. The tie rod was moved down and had a control handle. In addition, the vehicle had electric headlights, which is a possible novelty.

Andreas Flocken with his wife, 1903

Vehicle manufacturing was discontinued in 1903.

Reconstruction of the model of 1888 (2010)

The original from 1888 is considered lost. In 2010, the vehicle expert Franz Haag from Marktoberdorf built a reconstruction on his own initiative, which shows what the first attempt at an electric coach might have looked like.

The reconstruction of the 1888 flake electric car (Rüsselsheim 2013)

As a basis, Haag used a doctor’s carriage from the 19th century, as Andreas Flocken could also have used. Haag found this doctor’s carriage on a hayloft in late summer 2010 and decided “on a whim” to reconstruct the Flocken electric car. Based on information from automotive historian Halwart Schrader and the Deutsches Museum, the replica was created in just a few months from September 2010. On March 10, 2011, the reconstruction was presented to the public at the Retro Classics trade fair in Stuttgart.

Contact the author: christopherbarton@wheelsjoint.com

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