Late last year, DBM Energy drove an all-electric Audi A2 372 miles on a single charge, a potential game changer in the EV world. But nobody believed them until ze Germans ran a battery of tests proving the claims.
DBM Energy raised a lot of eyebrows last year when, over the course of seven hours, they drove 372 miles on a single charge of their lithium-metal-polymer battery-powered Audi A2. No range extender, no recharge halfway through, and the battery is 1/3 lighter than the Teslas, twice as powerful, and supposedly a helluva lot cheaper. Did I mention that the battery could also be fully recharged in just six minutes?
Sounds too good to be true, which is why I avoided writing about the subject when it first came around. So is really any wonder that when DBM’s warehouse “mysteriously” caught fire and burned down (a different) A2 prototype, people started calling bullshit?
DBM was not happy though, and as it turns out the test car was not destroyed in the fire. According to GM-Volt, DBM went to German federal authorities, who independently verified DBM’s claims on a 68 kWh battery pack (while the Audi-in-question had a 98 kWh battery pack.) During their tests, ze Germans found that DBM’s smaller battery pack had an effective range of 284 miles…more than any other all-electric car on the market right now. Called the KOLIBRI battery system, it has an estimated life span of 10 years, or 5,000 charging cycles.
So by now you’re thinking that it must cost a small fortune. Well, supposedly, the 98 kWh battery pack has a price of between $1,100 and $1,400. I know, I know, it still sounds unbelievable, and as much as I want to believe DBM’s claims, I’ll remain cautiously optimistic until I see some proof with my own eyes. But ze Germans make some pretty bold claims that could mean a new era of electric-powered automobiles.
How do you guys feel? Is this the breakthrough we’ve been waiting for, or just another would-be contender making claims they can’t back up?
Chris DeMorro is a writer and gearhead who loves all things automotive, from hybrids to HEMIs. You can read about his slow descent into madness at Sublime Burnout or follow his non-nonsensical ramblings on Twitter @harshcougar.