German Group Sets Electric Car Driving Record
BERLIN -- The brightly colored Audi A2 rolled into the courtyard of Germany's Ministry of Industry and Technology, completing a journey of 605km (375mi) from Munich to the capital. Waiting to greet the driver, 27-year old Mirko Hannemann, the head of DBM Energy, was Federal Minister Rainer Brüderle, whose agency helped support the project.
DBM Energy converted the Audi A2 to all-electric to demonstrate their KOLIBRI (German for 'Hummingbird') AlphaPolymer Technology battery. Unlike BMW's Mini-E, the company was able to retain both the front and rear passenger seats, as well as the car's truck space, presumably integrating the batteries into the vehicle floor pan.
Unlike an earlier record run in Japan of 1000 km (620 miles) that was conducted on a track with the vehicle driving at 40 km/h (25 mph), DBM Energy's run from Munich-to-Berlin averaged 90 km/h (55 mph). While the trip is being regarded as a "world record," unofficially, James Worden and Solectria -- now part of Azure Dynamics -- still hold the distance record at 377 miles in March of 1995, driving a Sunrise prototype using experimental Ovonic NiMH batteries. However, as DBM and its power partner, Lekker Energie, contend, it certainly can claim the record as a production vehicle, since the Sunrise never got beyond a handful of prototypes.
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