Screenshot of DBM Energy's Audi A2 crossing the finish line of 375 mile drive.Enlarge Photo
The converted Audi A2 electric car which hit the headlines back in October last year by apparently driving 375 miles on a single charge has been destroyed in a warehouse fire in Berlin.
While the German police investigate the cause of the fire, no official statements have been made about the fire, although DBM energy has released a statement saying its ultra-high capacity Hummingbird Lithium-polymer based battery was not in the vehicle at the time of the fire.
When DBM Energy’s CEO Mirko Hannemann drove the converted A2 from Munich to Berlin last year his company attracted a lot of interest from the media. But as the dust settled on the trip some more salient points about the trip became known.
Shortly after our initial coverage was published, some of our German-speaking readers began pointing out articles questioning the entire trip.
DBM Energy Audi A2 Electric CarEnlarge Photo
Our readers weren’t alone. Claims soon surfaced from German magazine Der Spiegel that DBM Energy’s trip was not completely in the public eye, with the A2 disappearing several times during the journey for significant periods of time.
Pointing out that the convoy had broken the 80 mph minimum speed limit of certain sections of autobahn, the magazine questioned the safety of the attempt. On hills, the speed was reported to drop below 50 mph.
Der Spiegel also commented that official record-keepers were suspiciously absent from the trip, despite promised from DBM Energy that the trip would be independently verified.
Amidst the controversy surrounding the original trip and increasing pressure from electric vehicle enthusiasts to release verified data about the battery pack capabilities the fire is an unfortunate event causing further suspicion around the firm.
Writing at Cleanthinking.de, Martin Jendrischik rather skeptically points out that at the moment the only proof that the highly experimental battery was not the seat of the fire is the say-so of the very company accused of foul-play in their own record attempt.
We’ll soon find out: BDM Energy is expected to make a formal statement shortly as soon as police restrictions have been lifted, and has already indicated work has begun on converting a new vehicle to install the claimed undamaged pack into.
Until then, common sense has to prevail when all we have is conjecture and hearsay.