1956 DKW Audi Electric Van Beautifully Restored
30 Janvier 2015 - Autoblog
These days, electric vehicles that make commercial deliveries aren't entirely rare. UPS has a small fleet in California, and at least 5,000 Renault Kangoo Z.E. models are in use by France's national postal service.
But the history of this concept is much older. In fact, one of the companies represented by Audi's four rings had an example about 60 years ago.
Audi Tradition just completed a full restoration of this blue 1956 DKW Elektro-Wagen to add to the company's collection of historic vehicles. It's quite a rare find because only two are still known to exist. Audi estimates that DKW built about 100 of these electric vans between 1955 and 1962, and they were primarily sold to energy companies, public utilities and battery makers.
To create the EV model, DKW took its normal Schnellaster delivery van and replaced the model's two-stroke engine with an electric drivetrain. The vans weren't exactly speedy, though. The motor produced about 6.7 horsepower and lead-acid batteries offered 200 amp hours of power running at 80 volts. It gave the Elektro-Wagen a claimed range of about 50 miles and a 25 mile-per-hour top speed.
Following the restoration, Audi took van to the island of Wangerooge in the North Sea to show it off. The location is perfect, too, because vehicles with internal combustion engines are banned on the island.