BMW's ActiveE coupe is a great little electric car. Even more so when it's working.
It looks pretty good, there's decent performance on offer, and drivers enjoy BMW handling and BMW quality without having to feed a drop of gas into it.
An electrified 1-Series coupe will never be quite as cool as Mike Pethel's electric BMW coupe, though.
Based on a 1970 BMW 3.0 CS coupe, Mike's car is rather more potent than BMW's own electric effort. And on style, the neat 1-Series simply can't compete with the gorgeous classic's lines.
When we say potent, we mean it. First, as you'll see in the video, the battery is massive. 2,400 lithium-ion cells are connected together in three custom boxes, producing one megawatt of energy. That, says Marketplace, is enough to run 750 homes.
It's also enough to power a BMW with its internal combustion innards replaced with a pair of direct current electric motors, developing 800-horsepower.
Of course, even with an enormous battery occupying your rear seats, 800 horses is going to drain it pretty quickly--around 50 miles is the best you'd see.
But that 50 miles would probably be quite fun. His commute is only five miles, so the 50-mile range isn't a problem. And judging by the burnout at the end of the video above, we're guessing Mike loves the smell of tire smoke, too.
Despite being new to conversions, he actually built the car himself, and even designed the motors. He says it's primitive, but it works. He gets a kick from it--not just from driving it, but knowing what it stands for as an electric car.
"I mean, if I just had a really loud car, it might be exciting to some motorhead. But when you have an electric green, clean, quiet car, everybody likes it."
Can't argue with that. So how about that 800-horsepower ActiveE, BMW?