Converted E39 BMW 5 Series Packs 133 kWh Battery, Claimed 1,000-Mile Range

1 month ago by Domenick Yoney 18

Electrified E39 BMW 528i — the Phoenix

Slow and steady wins this race.

Great things can happen when you replace the gas-burning drivetrain out of a BMW with an electric one. Exhibit A: Rimac Automobili, which sells the awesome Concept_One supercar and EV related tech to OEMs, began with a converted 1986 E30 323 back in 2009.

Exhibit B? This 1997 E39 528i.

Battery under the hood of the Phoenix

Bought and converted to a pure plug-in for a purported $13,800, the Phoenix, as it’s nicknamed, is said to boast a 133 kWh battery, which fills the space under its hood as well as the back seat area. In July, it reportedly drove for 1,204 km (748 miles) on a single charge at regular traffic speeds on a trip from Bakersfield, California to the state capitol, Sacramento, and back. Now, its creator, recycling proponent Eric Lundgren, founder of IT Asset Partners (ITAP),  will attempt to exceed the 1,000 mile (1,609 km) mark.

The long drive gets under way on October 16th at the Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. Details are light, though if the battery is the same used in previous drives, it goes to follow that the average speed will be reduced to hit the target. According to our math, they will have to achieve a spectacular 7.52 miles per kWh to succeed.

Compare that to the most efficient all-electric vehicle, the Hyundai Ioniq, which gets 135 MPGe combined (25 kWh/100 mi or four miles per kWh), and you can see the challenge posed to a heavier, far less aerodynamic vehicle. Our guess is speeds will be in the 20 mile per hour range, making the attempt take the better part of two days. No doubt this will be a very boring exercise to watch in person and sort of meaningless to people more interested in real-world capabilities, but still, hats off for the effort and good luck.

You can check out their last long-distance road trip in the video below.

Source: LA Weekly

Tags: , , , , ,

18 responses to "Converted E39 BMW 5 Series Packs 133 kWh Battery, Claimed 1,000-Mile Range"

  1. MikeG says:

    “In July, it reportedly drove for 1,204 km (748 miles) on a single charge at regular traffic speeds on a trip from Bakersfield, California to the state capitol, Sacramento, and back.”

    That would be with an Wh/mi of 178. I seriously doubt the E39 5 Series could achieve that efficiency at regular traffic speeds. Maybe at 30-40 miles, but not highway speeds.

    1. Chacama says:

      There’s a vehicle made by GM with greater efficiency than this at 12 miles per Kw, and that’s driving any day at regular traffic speeds. Only thing is you’ll have to literally go to the Moon for a test drive on the LRV (just being sarcastic about this “news”).

  2. (⌐■_■) Trollnonymous says:

    If you have to drive that far, 1000 miles, and can’t drive it on the freeway, what good is it?

    Not blasting on them but anyone can cram a bigass battery in a car and drive it sub 27mph for a long time.

    1. Mark.ca says:

      This is about beating a record not practicality. If you want practical then batteries would not take the back seats.

      1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

        The problem, as I see it, is the way the headline is worded. “Claimed 1,000 mile range” suggests whoever made the car is claiming that’s actually the normal driving range.

        It would be better if the headline said “…claimed 1,000 mile hypermiling record”.

        Stunts like this say a lot more about the hypermiling skills and/or dedication of the driver than about the capabilities of the car.

        1. Mark.ca says:

          Take this comment and post it on the article about the Tesla doing 600+ miles using the same techniques…you know, for balance sake.

  3. PHEVfan says:

    I regularly get more than 4 mi/kWh in my Fusion Energi at 65mph (clearly not the efficiency champoin out there). They should be able to do far better than that at a lower speed. But as Troll said above, what’s the point of driving so slow for so long?

  4. Warren says:

    They averaged 250 Wh/mile the first day, averaging over 50 mph. That is what we do in the Bolt, in mixed driving, all the time. They are not hypermiling. They averaged 213 Wh/mile, out of 162 kWh, until the battery was dead at 747 miles.

    1. Bill Howland says:

      Hehe, yeah, but even 166 wh/mile is nothing out of the ordinary in a BOLT ev since it is so efficient (about 40% better than my ELR under identical conditions).

      A BMW or Tesla would have a tough time in an efficiency race.

      Another thing:, what is this calling the new I3 battery ’33 kwh’ if you can only get 27 out of it? I’ve gotten over 59.9 kwh out of my supposed ’60’. That’s why I say its at least a ’65’.

      1. Mark.ca says:

        What is the mileage per KW you guys get on the Bolt? I get 4.2 on my eGolf, general average after 10k miles total, with 40% hwy and 60% city driving.

        1. Warren says:

          We are averaging 4.5 mi/kWh after 2,600 miles. AC has little effect, but this winter the heater could seriously pull that down, if we aren’t careful. The heated seats and steering wheel will definitely be on more than the 6 kW heater. I see numbers all over the place with Bolt drivers. One guy on the forums complained that he had to buy sticky rally tires because he got tired of the tires squealing at every light. He is definitely not getting 4 mi/kWh!

      2. WARREN says:

        My 2017 i3 cluster reads 29.1 kWh on the battery. Did 148 miles on one trip, averaging 5.1 mi/kwh, leaving with only a 97% charge. Would have easily travelled 150 mi on one charge with a 50mph avg speed. So definitely at least 29kWh capacity.

  5. Ben says:

    This thing is unsafe as hell.

  6. MichaelD says:

    I wish they wouldn’t cover this. It makes EVs look sketchy and lame. I can’t imagine ANY scenario where this helps.

    1. terminaltrip421 says:

      $13k conversion that includes a 133 kWh battery I’d say is useful information on the potential DIY market

      1. MichaelD says:

        Their website sellls them for $150 per kWh, so $20k for battery alone. So, yeah… the math is all over on this one. Good luck.

  7. Priusmaniac says:

    It would be interesting to test the car at a freeway speed of 75 mph to see how far it goes in those conditions.
    In the mean time, they likely broke the record of the biggest battery energy in a car with 133 KWh.
    There is still a way to go before we get to the standard 150 KWh we will see in our cars about a decade from now, but this is getting really close.

  8. Patrick says:

    “Compare that to the most efficient all-electric vehicle, the Hyundai Ioniq, which gets 135 MPGe combined (25 kWh/100 mi or four miles per kWh)”

    Doesn’t make sense. 4 miles per kWh is 250 Wh per mile, that is NOT that efficient. I can easily get 190 to 200 on my Tesla model S by driving calmly in regular city traffic.

Leave a Reply