california-based company ITAP converts a 1997 BMW into an electric car with a 38% longer driving range than the tesla model ‘S P100D’ for just a fraction of the cost. dubbed the ‘phoenix’, this BMW ex-junkyard car was stripped completely bare, then fitted with three types of recycled batteries totalling 130 kilowatts of capacity, plus an electric motor. this DIY combination allows the recycled electric vehicle to drive for 382 miles before needing a recharge.
all images © jehu garcia
ITAP founder and CEO, eric lundgren, started with a ‘E39’ generation BMW ‘528i’ he bought from a junkyard. to save weight, he stipped back the entire interior excluding a seat for the driver and passenger. the battery pack is a 130 kW unit that comprises cells from lithium-ion 18650, old laptops, and used electric car batteries. lundgren and his team built the ‘phoenix’ in 35 days for just $13,000. lundgren hopes that if nothing else, ‘the powers that be’ within electronic corporations will notice ITAP’s effort and will feel motivated to start practicing what he calls ‘hybrid-recycling’.
‘re-use is the purest form of recycling. it creates zero carbon footprint. re-using parts/components within broken/obsolete electronics is called “hybrid recycling”. this is a much-needed and often missing part of the recycling ecosystem.’ comments eric lundgren.
in the video he puts the ‘phoenix’ up against the tesla ‘model S 100D’ in a simple test: drive both cars in completely identical conditions and see at which mile each one runs out of power. the tesla died at about 238 miles, while the recycled BMW ran out after covering 382 miles. lundgren didn’t to achieve his initial target of 400 miles, but he still managed build an 88% recycled car that had enough battery power to set a guinness world record for the longest distance ever driven on a single charge at highway speeds.
martin hislop I designboom