German electric car sets new distance record

Oct 26, 2010
Mirko Hannemann, chief executive of DBM Energy, gets out of the "Lekker Mobil", an Audi A2 with an electric engine, in front of Berlin's Brandenburg Gate on Tuesday. The electric car drove 600km from Munich in southern Germany to Berlin without recharging its battery, setting what organisers hailed as a new world distance record for an everyday vehicle.

An electric car drove from Munich in southern Germany to Berlin without recharging its battery on Tuesday, setting what organisers hailed as a new world distance record for an everyday vehicle.

The yellow and purple Audi A2 car took around seven hours to complete the 600-kilometre (372-mile) stretch and arrived in the sumptuous courtyard of the economy ministry in Berlin just before 8:00am local time (0600 GMT).

"If any journalists want to charge up their iPhones, we still have some electricity left," quipped driver Mirko Hannemann, 27, as he stepped out of the four-door car to show off the battery.

Economy Minister Rainer Bruederle welcomed the team on arrival and was even tempted into taking a spin around the courtyard, although not behind the wheel.

"They even had the heating on. It really was a luxury journey," Bruederle told a large crowd of journalists and photographers on a chilly Berlin morning.

At a later press conference, Bruederle said: "Welcome to a world record. Before, could typically only go 60 or 70 kilometres before recharging. This is a technological leap forward."

Car manufacturers hope that electric cars will grow to dominate the automotive industry but consumers see the short range of the vehicles as a major downside.

Japanese researchers have driven an experimental electric car more than 1,000 kilometres around a track, but the two German firms, lekker Energie and DBM Energy, said their vehicle was the furthest travelled by an everyday car.

Chancellor Angela Merkel's government aims to have one million electric cars on the road by 2020, but Germany's car giants have been slow off the starting grid and are now scrambling to catch up with their Asian rivals.

World-leading luxury BMW and Europe's biggest manufacturer Volkswagen have both said they intend to launch their first vehicles in 2013.

In contrast, last week, Japan's Nissan said it had started mass producing its Leaf electric car and is poised to put it on sale both at home and in the United States.

Nevertheless, Berlin has offered sweeteners to jump-start its national champions and hopes that by 2050, gas-guzzlers could be a thing of the past.

"Let the message go out to the world. Germany is again a technological leader," said Bruederle.

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User comments : 21

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jimbo92107
5 / 5 (7) Oct 26, 2010
Who cares about the car? The only important detail is about the battery.

Oh. Nothing about that.
Thadieus
not rated yet Oct 26, 2010
Leave it to Germen Engineering
Eikka
not rated yet Oct 26, 2010
Now this is real improvement. Not 25 kph around a parking lot with the headlights off type.

Eikka
5 / 5 (4) Oct 26, 2010
Translating from German web forums where people have calculated the approximate energy requirements for the car, it seems that the battery should be approximately 115 kWh.

For conventional lithium batteries, that means a weight of at least 900 kilograms.
plasticpower
5 / 5 (1) Oct 27, 2010
Ouch.. At ~2000 lbs for just the battery that doesn't leave much for the rest of the car, does it?
ormondotvos
not rated yet Oct 27, 2010
What parts do you think they left out for a trip that long ?

Was there an extra battery?
DamienS
5 / 5 (1) Oct 27, 2010
It beggars belief that they would leave out, not just some, but ALL details of the electric drive and battery system of a supposedly record setting vehicle!
Titto
2.5 / 5 (2) Oct 27, 2010
Very nice indeed but all these car batteries have then to be charged from the electricity grid?? huh?
Imagine 1 million cars charging from the grid everyday?? come...on!!!
RodC
not rated yet Oct 27, 2010
*HAH* !! Tesla Motors has a 4-year headstart on Germany, and a contract with Daimler to produce batteries for their EV.
dsl5000
not rated yet Oct 27, 2010
That's not bad, was going to ask how fast they were going...but it seems to show that they would need to go on avg of 50mph which is decent. Of course they must've gone way faster than 50mph if they encountered stop and go traffic.
John_balls
5 / 5 (1) Oct 27, 2010
Very nice indeed but all these car batteries have then to be charged from the electricity grid?? huh?
Imagine 1 million cars charging from the grid everyday?? come...on!!!

I know we should stop the presses and quit building them now.. holy cow.
Skeptic_Heretic
not rated yet Oct 27, 2010
Rather impressive distance with an average speed of 52 mph.

I'd like to see how long the charge time is on that vehicle. Sounds like EV may be the way to go.
baudrunner
2 / 5 (1) Oct 27, 2010
"It beggars belief that they would leave out, not just some, but ALL details of the electric drive and battery system of a supposedly record setting vehicle!" Oh, please! It beggars one to think that an intelligent reader could come up with an inane remark like that. You think they're lying? If they're not lying then they would be just plain stupid to release any technical details. This is just too game-changing.
PPihkala
not rated yet Oct 27, 2010
Some details are here:
http://www.engadg...72-mile/
DamienS
5 / 5 (2) Oct 27, 2010
Oh, please! It beggars one to think that an intelligent reader could come up with an inane remark like that. You think they're lying?

In fact, I hadn't considered that possibility, but having dug around some, it seems a lot of people are rather dubious about this. My complaint was that for a potentially game changing technology, no real technical details were provided.
If they're not lying then they would be just plain stupid to release any technical details. This is just too game-changing.

Not at all. They need not release trade secret details of say the precise chemistry used in the battery. But it would be nice to know things like recharge times, power density, discharge cycles (longevity), weight, potential cost, motor(s) size & power, driving style used, etc.

Instead they have an amateur website promoting a 250 euro book. So there's a lot to be skeptical about at this stage. But trust me, I'd love for this to be the real deal.
frajo
5 / 5 (1) Oct 28, 2010
Instead they have an amateur website promoting a 250 euro book. So there's a lot to be skeptical about at this stage. But trust me, I'd love for this to be the real deal.
To see their "book" go to http://www.dbm-energy.com/ and click the line "hier gehts weiter". If you understand German you'll notice their rather embarrassing use of the language. The content is very lightweight, too. It says: "The book compares polymer based lithium technology with conventional batteries as well as with conventional lithium ion batteries and demonstrates how the new technology enables applications which are envisioned by lobbyists for the far future only".

This whole thing has a certain smell.

carenthusiasttr
not rated yet Oct 28, 2010
I found a video about it, which I am sure will come suspicious to some of you since it is not official company video - and I can't validate the source either. Its on the major video website.

Anyways - according to the above video says:
300Wh/kg which would make batteries of 115Kwh only 340kg - thus still making the A2 weighing at 1.2tons reasonable

I think this technology is very interesting as well as being a game changer unless it is a hoax - which I am 90% sure it is not, since German minister and all the people behind the project would have done their homework on this guy and his technology.
Skeptic_Heretic
3.7 / 5 (3) Oct 28, 2010
I think this technology is very interesting as well as being a game changer unless it is a hoax - which I am 90% sure it is not, since German minister and all the people behind the project would have done their homework on this guy and his technology.
Germany has been fooled by charismatic people before.
Eikka
5 / 5 (2) Oct 29, 2010

300Wh/kg which would make batteries of 115Kwh only 340kg


It is certainly within the realm of possible. However, there are certain reasons why lithium polymer batteries aren't widely adopted for automotive use, and anyone who has built a model RC plane can tell you what it is.

They burn, violently.
TAz00
not rated yet Oct 31, 2010
haha, i remember the last time Germany was a technological leader :P
fixer
3 / 5 (1) Nov 01, 2010
"They burn, violently"

So does petrol...
A battery may well weigh 900kg, but subtract from that the weight of an engine, gearbox, diff and prop shaft and a petrol tank plus filters, pump and lines etc and the weight is suddenly realistic.

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