We ‘re continuing our series on BMW Technik today with a look at BMW ‘s first modern electric car the E1. It started with the Z15, itself an off-shoot of the Z11 small car concept seen at the Frankfurt Motor Show in 1991. As a prototype with the model designation BMW E1, the four-seater incorporated a new design language with new aerodynamic and ergonomic features. The BMW E1 provided a range of up to 124 miles and a top speed of 75 mph. The prototype generated universal acclaim among members of the public and auto writers of the time. The readers’ choice in car magazine “Auto Zeitung” voted the BMW E1 as the winner in the category “Environment and Technology”, and trade magazine “Auto Bild” described the BMW E1 as “the most advanced car of the century”.

Ultimately battery costs made the case for production difficult. However the E1 (and it ‘s forbearers) provided the impetus for the development of a Mega City vehicle designed for emission-free mobility within large urban environments.

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