Although the closest thing you can get to an electric car at BMW these days is one with Start & Stop technology, a hybrid (in the near future) or, if you’re lucky, the Mini E, BMW has a long history of developing electric cars. For the 1972 Olympic games held in Munich, BMW provided a small fleet of orange-colored BMW 1602 Saloons that used a battery-powered electric motor. The cars didn’t have much range, thanks lead-acid technology, a 144 V motor with 32 kw (about 43 hp), but they were good enough to be the support car in the marathon.
Following this, BMW made an all-EV model called the E1 in 1993. This all-electric car offered space for four passengers and their luggage, and used lightweight construction. The body was a combination of extrusion-pressed aluminum profiles with the outer skin made of plastic and aluminum. The E1 concept had a maximum speed of 80 mph and weighed less than 2,000 lbs and used a water-cooled motor. Besides the all-electric car, BMW made a hybrid version of the E1. Its internal combustion engine was a modified version of the 4-cylinder BMW K1100 motorcycle mated to a five-speed manual gearbox. It produced 82 hp at 5800 rpm, and the driver could switch between electric-only propulsion for zero-emission city driving and turning on the ICE on the highway.
We’ve compiled a large gallery of pictures of these models for your enjoyment. Check it out below.
Gallery: BMW EV historic cars
Back in time: a gallery of BMW’s electric car prototypes through the years originally appeared on AutoblogGreen on Fri, 26 Jun 2009 12:48:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.