Rate It: Like a BMW 2002, But Electric

As commonplace as electrification in cars today is, it was much different story back the '70s, largely because the technology just wasn't quite there yet.

That didn't stop BMW from trying, however, with the 1602 Elektro-Antrieb (Electric-Drive). BMW's first electric car debuted at the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich, Germany, where the few examples served as VIP shuttles and support vehicles.

Under the hood was a single 32 kW electric motor powered by a bank of batteries good for a reported 12.6 kWh. The 1602 Elektro-Antrieb is said to have a top speed of a little over 60 mph, but with its batteries alone weighing over 700 pounds, it may have taken a little while to get there.

Like what you're reading? We rely on your financial support. For as little as $3, you can support Grassroots Motorsports by becoming a Patron today. 

Become a Patron!

Join Free Join our community to easily find more Rate It, Elektro-Antrieb, 1602 and BMW news.
Comments
View comments on the GRM forums
Olemiss540
Olemiss540 Reader
8/18/20 10:10 a.m.

Wow. How beautiful. Rear camber looks a bit aggressive for the tire compound!

alfadriver (Forum Supporter)
alfadriver (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
8/18/20 10:25 a.m.

So original.  Which means that it would not be a candidate for a restomod.

And my steps would be:

Take all the stuff out, weigh it, including noting the balance of the weight in the car.

Find a modern motor and power control system (just to cover all bases), and then make up the rest with the best modern batteries you can get.

That would be an interesting comparison to see the updated performance- speed and distance- if one did that.  And it would make a pretty amazing car, I would bet.

(just the cost....  ugh)

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
8/18/20 10:51 a.m.

Even just switching to modern batteries (inside vintage cases?) would probably get you quite an improvement.

alfadriver (Forum Supporter)
alfadriver (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
8/18/20 11:56 a.m.

In reply to Keith Tanner :

For distance, but the 32kW motor is going to really hamper performance... 

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
8/18/20 2:39 p.m.

Well, it'll drop a bunch of weight. Unless you put in the same mass of batteries and go for distance.

But yeah, not a powerful motor. The gas version had almost twice as much power. Given how cool it looks underhood, I'd want to package the modern guts inside the old. Not sure what that means for the motor, it would be a lot easier with batteries.

ProDarwin
ProDarwin UltimaDork
8/18/20 2:57 p.m.
Keith Tanner said:

Well, it'll drop a bunch of weight. Unless you put in the same mass of batteries and go for distance.

But yeah, not a powerful motor. The gas version had almost twice as much power. Given how cool it looks underhood, I'd want to package the modern guts inside the old. Not sure what that means for the motor, it would be a lot easier with batteries.

Is that 32kw peak performance of the motor, or the limitation due to the batteries present?

There is a good chance you can feed that motor more power (from better batteries) and get much more performance.  Think Nissan Leaf 1G and 2G which have the same motor, but the 2G is rated at 30KW higher.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
8/18/20 3:28 p.m.

Good point. You only have to get to 63 kW to match the gas peak, and of course you'll likely have a boatload more torque than the original 1.6.

That shot of the motor and controls is beautiful. Nicely executed. As you'd expect with a hand-built car put together by West German engineers in the early 70s :) The MG equivalent would probably be set on fire by the workers.

Coupefan
Coupefan Reader
8/18/20 9:06 p.m.

Whew.  Those boards in the card cage are definitely 1970s. I occasionally still work on legacy laser systems from that era, the design cues are the same.  Repairable from parts found at a Radio Shack, if you could still find a Radio Shack. 

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) MegaDork
8/19/20 5:47 a.m.
Olemiss540 said:

Wow. How beautiful. Rear camber looks a bit aggressive for the tire compound!

German trailing arm suspensions (with one or two rare exceptions) had a lot of camber change with suspension travel,  I suspect the extreme amount of negative camber when lowered is responsible for the "stance" look.

 

Heck, 80s VW twist beam suspensions had way more negative camber than that BMW is showing.

 

That said, high profile tires are very camber insensitive, which is a lot of the reason why they were able to get away with it.  2 degrees negative is nothing to a 80 or 70 aspect tire.

2002maniac
2002maniac Dork
8/19/20 9:24 a.m.

How have I never heard of this? What a cool car!

Tyler H (Forum Supporter)
Tyler H (Forum Supporter) UberDork
8/19/20 9:30 a.m.

The motor bay is a work of art.  Craftsmanship!  Love the early use of zip-ties.

Mr_Asa
Mr_Asa Dork
8/19/20 9:34 a.m.
Olemiss540 said:

Wow. How beautiful. Rear camber looks a bit aggressive for the tire compound!

Maybe they didn't change the springs enough when they threw almost half a ton of batteries in the back?

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) MegaDork
8/19/20 11:26 a.m.
2002maniac said:

How have I never heard of this? What a cool car!

Googling 1972 olympics Munich gets a lot of hits but few about BMW.

 

"Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how was the play?"

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
8/19/20 11:27 a.m.
Mr_Asa said:
Olemiss540 said:

Wow. How beautiful. Rear camber looks a bit aggressive for the tire compound!

Maybe they didn't change the springs enough when they threw almost half a ton of batteries in the back?

Take another look at that battery picture. That's not the back.

Actually, looking at that picture - those are AGM batteries. So it's seen at least some refreshing. I suspect this is a fully functioning vehicle at the moment.

Our Preferred Partners
JK27V1GJnPdoWmidiVCDuBGFtw17K2wWVzfMXsFA97Qk1JG36CNiT7BEqoCElT0y