While electric vehicles are enjoying increasing popularity, they have existed for a long time. As such, there are many electric cars you didn’t know existed. Some of them have intriguing features and history that will leave you amazed.
In this article, we present to you electric vehicles you didn’t know existed!
BMW 1602 Electric
BMW be might be playing catch to EV companies like Tesla, but you might be surprised the German companies had been involved in battery-powered cars about 50 years ago. BMW’s first truly electric car was the 1602 Electric, a modified version of the ICE 1602. The battery, which weighed 350 kg, was lead-acid and was installed under the bonnet.
With its 43 bhp Bosch electric motor, the 1602 was not the fastest car. It took a full eight seconds to reach 31 mph from 0. Driving range was just 19 miles, but that didn’t prevent it from being used as a support car during the 1972 Olympics in Munich.
Ford Ranger EV
If you are one of those who have booked Ford’s F-150 Lightning, you should know that Ford had put out an electric pickup truck before. The American automaker had the first try in 1998 when it released the Ranger EV. About 1,500 units were eventually made, but most were recalled and destroyed by Ford, bringing the story to a sad and abrupt end.
Many people remember the Mercedes-Benz 190, and you can still find some on the road today. What many do not know is that Mercedes released an electric version, although in limited quantity. It was part of an experiment by the German government in which the residents of an island were asked to use electric cars exclusively. Mercedes, alongside other automakers, sent ten units of the 190E. The EV had two 22bhp electric motors powered by a sodium-nickel chloride battery. It also had regenerative braking.
This EV won’t win any design awards, but it was GM’s earliest attempt at a mass-market battery-powered car. Production started in 1996, and GM made about 1,000 units, leased out for $400 per month.
Just like Ford, GM recalled the EV and destroyed them over protests from the users. The second-gen had decent specs even by today’s standards, with up 140 miles on a single charge and acceleration time of under nine seconds from 0 to 60 mph.
Volkswagen Golf CitySTROMer
The last car on our list of electric cars you didn’t know existed is Golf CitySTROMer, of which Volkswagen built only 25. It did so in partnership with RWE, a utility company. These Golfs were Behemoths, weighing about 1.5 tonnes, and could only cover 40 miles before the battery gave out. Volkswagen increased production to 70 of version 2, while version 3 boasted 120 units.