BMW tells of 40 years of electric mobility development

Release Date: 2013
MSRP: $43,000 - $50,000 US
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Row of BMW electric vehicles from past 40 years

In a recent press release from BMW, the automaker tells of the 40 years of development in electric mobility. Starting with the BMW 1602 and ending with the release of the BMW i3 in late 2013, BMW has launched a series of research and development project in order to bring an improved and more efficient technology to electric drive systems that it can deploy in mass produced vehicles.

When the first production version of the BMW i3 rolls off the assembly line in Leipzig in late 2013, it will mark the provisional culmination of 40 years of development work at BMW. It all began at the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich, where the BMW starting line-up included two electrically powered test vehicles. The converted BMW 1602 models served as a means of transport for the members of the organising committee, and were also deployed as support and camera cars in various long-distance events. However, there could be no questioning that lead batteries weighing 350 kilograms and with a range of around 60 kilometres (37 miles) were hardly ideal for a production car. BMW therefore launched a series of research and development projects with the aim of bringing an improved and, above all, more efficient technology for electric drive systems onto the road.

┬áHere are some fun specifications of some of BMW’s electric vehicles over the years

BMW 1602 Electric (1972): Specifications
Motor

DC shunt-wound motor (Bosch)

Continuous/peak output

12 kW / 32 kW

Energy storage

12 lead-acid starter batteries (Varta)

Capacity

12.6 kWh

Weight

350 kg

Performance (approx.)
Top speed

100 km/h (62 mph)

Acceleration 0-50 km/h (31 mph)

8 sec

Range in city traffic

30 km (19 miles)

 

BMW LS Electric (1975): Specifications
Motor

DC series motor (Bosch)

Continuous/peak output

8 kW / 17 kW

Energy storage

10 lead-acid traction batteries (Varta)

Capacity

10.8 kWh

Weight

318 kg

Performance (approx.)
Top speed

65 km/h (40 mph)

Acceleration 0-50 km/h (31 mph)

11.4 sec

Range in city traffic

30 km (19 miles)

 

BMW 325iX (1987-1990): Specifications
Motor

DC shunt-wound motor (ABB)

Continuous/peak output

17 kW / 22 kW

Energy storage

Sodium-sulphur high-energy battery

Capacity

22 kWh

Weight

265 kg

Performance (approx.)
Top speed

100 km/h (62 mph)

Acceleration 0-50 km/h (31 mph)

9 sec

Range in city traffic

150 km (93 miles)

 

BMW E1, 1st/2nd generation (1991-1993): Specifications
Motor

Permanently excited rotating-field
AC motor

Continuous output

32 kW

Energy storage

Sodium-sulphur high-energy battery /
sodium-nickel chloride high-energy battery

Capacity

19.2 kWh / 19 kWh

Weight

200 kg

Performance (approx.)
Top speed

120 km/h (75 mph) /
125 km/h (78 mph)

Acceleration 0-50 km/h (31 mph)

6 sec / 5.6 sec

Range in city traffic

150 km (93 miles)

 

BMW 325 / BMW electric (1992-1997): Specifications
Motor

Permanently excited rotating-field
AC motor

Continuous output

32 kW / 45 kW

Energy storage

Sodium-nickel chloride high-energy battery

Capacity

21.7 kWh / 29 kWh

Weight

260 kg /350 kg

Performance (approx.)
Top speed

128 km/h (80 mph) /
135 km/h (84 mph)

Acceleration 0-50 km/h (31 mph)

8 sec / 6 sec

Range in city traffic

120 km (75 miles) / 150 km (93 miles)

 

MINI E (2008): Specifications
Motor

Asynchronous motor

Output

150 kW

Energy storage

Lithium-ion battery

Capacity

35 kWh

Weight

260 kg

Performance (approx.)
Top speed

152 km/h (94 mph)

Acceleration 0-100 km/h (62 mph)

8.5 sec

Range

250 km (155 miles)

 

BMW ActiveE (2010): Specifications
Motor

Permanently excited hybrid synchronous motor

Output

125 kW

Energy storage

Lithium-ion battery

Capacity

32 kWh

Weight

450 kg

Performance (approx.)
Top speed

145 km/h (90 mph)

Acceleration 0-100 km/h (62 mph)

9 sec

Range in city traffic

160 km (100 miles)

Click here to read the full PDF report on BMW’s Electric Mobility Heritage