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1919 Slaby-Beringer Electric Car


The Slaby-Beringer electric car, introduced in 1919, represented a significant leap forward in automotive innovation during its time. Dr. Rudolf Slaby's original creation of a small electric car for personal use garnered considerable interest, leading to the establishment of a company, SB-Automobilgesellschaft m.b.H., in collaboration with Hermann Beringer, to mass-produce the vehicle.


The Slaby-Beringer electric car's initial success was evident with an order of 100 vehicles from Jörgen Skafte Rasmussen, the owner of a Berlin-based company and the founder of DKW. Rasmussen's interest in the venture prompted him to acquire a one-third ownership stake in SB-Automobilgesellschaft.



Production of the electric car commenced, with 257 single-seat electric cars built in the first year alone. Rasmussen took a significant portion of these vehicles, and the company soon began producing its own electric motors. Demand for the electric car grew, particularly from Japan, leading to the need for larger battery capacities to meet international orders.


However, economic challenges, including inflation in Germany, disrupted production in 1923. Despite a strong order book and ample inventory, the company was forced to temporarily halt manufacturing. Nonetheless, production resumed later that year, with the electric car joined by a new SB car featuring a DKW motorcycle engine.