Tuesday, August 25, 2015

BMW 1602e

I was under the naive impression that BMW’s involvement in electric cars was a more recent thing, say the last 20 years or so, but after watching a recent video (see below) I was amazed to find out it first produced one in 1972. Not only that but it had a role in the Olympics of the same year!!!!

With the fuel crisis of the early 70’s as well as legislation being written in the USA restricting emissions BWM started looking at alternative fuels and one option looked at was electric. With the 2002 being the current mid-sized offering the engineers looked its way when building the first prototypes. Now rather than go down an expensive development of new battery technologies and motors power plant, BMW simply took what was available. In this case 12 standard 12 volt batteries and fitted them in place of the engine and hooked them up to an off the shelf electric motor from Bosch. The result was BMW’s first electric car. However it did have its problems, all those batteries weighted in at 350kg giving a limited range of 19 mile. Two were built and debuted to a shocked public at the Munich Olympics as the Electro where, due to their lack of exhaust fumes, were used as an escort vehicles for long distance events such as the marathon and walking.

An interesting footnote in the history of BMW I think you’ll agree and what’s not to love about the 2002 with all its 70’s charm.


Photo credit- BMW
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