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Harrington BB: Electric Descendent of the Isetta Microcar

Electric Isetta

Nathan Redfearn is the CEO of isettashop.com, a Saigon-based mail-order manufacturer of parts for vintage BMW Isetta microcars. He also runs the Harrington Group, which produces components for Aston Martin and Ferrari classics. He recently gave us a shout to let us know about his latest venture - the Harrington BB - an electrically powered BMW Isetta reproduction.

The BB includes an all-new steel body and tubular steel chassis with an electric hub motor on each wheel. The bright orange prototype uses lead acid batteries, which will soon be replaced with Lithium-Ion cells for increased power and range.

Harrington BB

The vehicle's incredibly simple drivetrain has no transmission, relying instead on the wide power band of the wheel-mounted electric motors to provide smooth acceleration. There's a simple "forward/reverse" lever to choose your direction. They've clocked about 800 miles driving the prototype around the streets of Saigon, Vietnam without suffering a breakdown. Its main drawback is speed - it has a top speed of only 30 mph (48 km/h), with a range of approximately 60 miles (96 km) on an 8 hour charge.

Redfearn's short-term goal is to substantially increase the speed and range of the prototype, with the aim of offering it in kit and fully assembled form by early 2009.

More info about the Harrington BB prototype
Videos of the Harrington BB in action

related:
60 mpg From A Stock BMW

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