Why BMW's First EV Actually Didn't Suck All That Much

Technology

Granted this was back in 1972.

Decades before today’s i3, BMW was already dabbling in electric vehicles and battery technology. Back in 1972, the German automaker realized that emissions regulations would only become stricter in the years ahead, so it figured it was time to start preparing for the inevitable. The result was its first EV, the 1602e. BMW obviously kept the 1602e’s development a secret but it was finally revealed to the world at the ’72 Munich Olympic Games. Compared to today’s standards it was quite primitive, but still advanced for its time.

It ran on lead-based batteries and must have been horribly slow due to those batteries weighing around 770 lbs. But on the bright side, when it escorted Olympic marathon competitions the runners could breathe fresh air and not C02 fumes. So that’s something.

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