We like to think of electric vehicles as something new, mostly because they're only just now hitting lots in the form of mass-production models, but we here at Fields BMW Lakeland have got an interesting little secret to tell our readers-we've been tinkering around with all-electric prototypes for four decades already.
Okay, so not us specifically, but the engineers at BMW that work constantly to put out the best and most cutting-edge vehicles in the world began fiddling around with the idea of a car running on pure battery power all the way back in 1972 as a fun bit of publicity in preparation for that year's Olympic Games in Munich, Germany.
That first electric BMW was a modified 1602 sports sedan that, instead of using gasoline, drew energy using a 32-kilowatt motor and six full-sized lead acid batteries underneath the hood where the engine would usually lie. It wasn't able to go very far-only about 26 miles-but that marathon distance was the goal for those BMW engineers, and they achieved it.
The goal now obviously is for next year's BMW ActiveE models to travel quite a bit farther and prove themselves worthy cars in a world that's just dying to wean itself off of foreign oil. The new electric BMW is quite a bit different from the one put together in 1972, and we're guessing the technology running vehicles in forty more years will be vastly different from this first ActiveE. Perhaps someday Tampa BMW 328i fans will be offered electric versions of that and other 3 Series cars. And then 1 Series and 5 Series and so on, until every car we offer just blows people's minds.
In the more immediate future, however, the ActiveE will blow more than enough minds to tide us over.