Although the BMW i3 is often referred to as the first ever electric BMW, it is not. The BMW 1602 Electric was the original electric BMW, and it debuted in 1969.
BMW built two prototype vehicles from the BMW 02 Series in 1969 to test the viability of an electric drive unit. Bosch developed a DC shunt-wound engine with 32 kW peak power. The motor’s propulsion was provided by the prop shaft and intermediate gearing. A thermostat-controlled 140W radial fan took care of cooling. The electric motor, which weighs 85 kilograms, was powered by 12 Varta 12V standard lead-acid battery packs. These batteries were placed on a wooden pallet inside the engine bay.
Because of the massive lead-acid battery pack up front, the BW 1602 was quite heavy. In fact, just the battery pack up front checked in at 350 kg (771 lbs), though it did fit in as one unit, so it could be removed and swapped with a fully-charged pack.
The 1602 Electric was officially presented by BMW at the 1972 Olympic Games, Munich. Let’s just say that the runners in track and field were faster. In just eight seconds, the little BMW 1602 Electric could go from 0-50 km/h (31.3 mph) to 100 km/h (62.2 mph). It could travel 30km (19 miles) at 50 km/h. The BMW 1602 Electric had, in fact, regenerative brakes back in 1970.
The BMW 1602 Electric is currently on display at the 2021 IAA, next to all of BMW’s radical futuristic concept cars. When looking at where BMW started, it’s interesting to see where BMW is going, in the world of electrification. The 1602 Electric is such a charming little vintage electric car, with technology that seems archaic today. However, it was the beginning of the brand’s interest in electric technology, which is going to be our future.
Publited at Mon, 6 Sep 2021 15:12:35 +0000