7 Electric BMWs from the Past 40 Years, 1 From the Future (Hopefully Late 2013)

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BMW electric car

credit: BMW

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BMW LS Electric (1975)

Its interesting how, to our modern aesthetic sensibilities, some relatively more recent models actually look more dated than chronologically older ones. For example, I find that this one has aged a lot more than the previous orange 1602 Electric from 1972. But maybe it's just me...

Here's what BMW has to say about this one:

In June 1975, BMW launched a new project that was kept under wraps at the time. A discarded BMW LS served as the basis for an experimental vehicle, which began driving trials in December 1976. The DC shunt-wound motor used on the BMW 1602 now gave way to a new DC series motor from Bosch, while 10 Varta lead-acid batteries with Aquamatic (centralised water topping up and degassing) were also meant to provide new findings.  

This was the first time that the vehicle included a charger complete with charging leads and automatic shut-off mechanism, which allowed the batteries to be connected to a standard mains socket and recharged in 14 hours. Although the production vehicle's drum brakes were retained, priority was always given to using the electric regenerative brake first. The reduction and differential gears were combined into a compact block and bolted together with the electric motor. The heated windscreen and rear window together with an electric storage heater from Bauknecht assumed the task of interior climate control.

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)

Keep going to page 4.