The king of electric car range at the moment is the Tesla Model S. the Model S 100D has more range than any other electric car, with a max battery range of 335 miles. While the P100D model, the performance variant, has slightly less, at 315 miles, it’s still second to only its sibling. So when someone claims they can beat that range with a junkyard electric car with a battery pack made from recycled materials, most EV fans roll their eyes. Except that’s exactly what happened here with a junkyard BMW E39 5 Series.
Eric Lundgren recently created his own EV out of a scrapped E39 5 Series. Rather than an engine under the hood, there’s actually a massive pack of recycled batteries. Those batteries were previously used and Lundgren has recycled them in a way to give them new life. We’re not sure of his process, but it seems to be working.
He then stripped out the entire interior of the car and made it into a hyper-mile champion. So he wanted to see just how far it could go on one charge and compare it against one of the absolute furthest traveling EVs ever made — the Model S P100D.
So on this trip, the charged both cars up to max at the same charging station and set off on the same roads at the same speeds in the same conditions, to see which cars drove furthest. When the Tesla finally ran out of juice, it had done 315.7 miles, so basically exactly its estimated max range, which is really impressive. However, the recycled E39 5 Series EV still had more juice in its “tank”. A lot more.
In fact, it actually ended up doing about 67 more miles than the Tesla, with a total single-charge range of 382 miles. That’s wildly impressive and more than any stock EV on the market could possibly dream of.
Now, it’s important to recognize the point of this test. The idea was to see how far recycled batteries could go and how viable of an option they are. Not to see if they could build a Tesla-beating car. The E39 5 Series EV was completely stripped out, significantly lighter and lacking any modern navigation or technology. So it had a significant advantage. If you were to strip the Tesla of its weight, it would go significantly further as well. But that’s not the point. The point was to show off the capability of recycled batteries and it’s quite impressive, actually. But we’re just gonna chalk the victory up to the fact that it was an E39 5 Series. Duh.