Flashback – 1972 BMW 1602 Electric


BMW 1602 Electric

BMW 1602 Electric

BMW 1602 Electric

BMW 1602 Electric

Back in 1972, BMW envisioned a future ripe with electric vehicles.  The German automaker used the Olympic Games in Munich to display two of its first-ever converted 1602 electric-powered vehicles.

42 years later, BMW is launching its first two mass produced electric vehicles in the BMW i3 and BMW i8.

Here’s a look back at where BMW’s electric vehicle program got its start.

BMW 1602 Electric (1972):

Motor: DC shunt-wound motor
Peak output: 32 kW
Energy storage: 12 lead-acid starter batteries
Capacity: 12.6 kWh
Top speed: 62 mph
Acceleration: 0-31 mph 8 seconds
Range in city traffic: 19 miles

What’s the 19-mile range in city traffic convert to at highway speeds?  Well, the 1602 Electric isn’t quite capable of reaching today’s highway speeds, but at a constant 62 MPH, we reckon the 1602 Electric could at most make it 10 miles down the highway before calling it quits.

Categories: BMW


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3 Comments on "Flashback – 1972 BMW 1602 Electric"

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Ocean Railroader

It would most likely do better now a days if you dropped out the dead weight of the lead acid batteries and replaced them with modern lithium batteries.

Mark C

Sounds like they wanted to prove electric vehicles would work, just like GM when they converted full size vans to demonstrate electrics possibilities…..


Neat. I wonder what the onboard (or was it offboard?) charging capability was of this conversion.