Spyshots: All-Electric BMW X1 Starts Testing
The prototype obviously has no exhaust pipes at the back, and the area is protected by a large diffuser.
European laws dictate that certain test vehicles need to be labeled "Hybrid Test Vehicle" so emergency crews know how to handle them in case of an accident, since the batteries pose a safety risk. The stickers don't necessarily make this X1 an actual hybrid.
Our photographer tells us was also curious and waited for the prototype to start. It drove completely silently.
Another possibility is that this is a test mule, though there isn't much indication of this anywhere on the car, since it's a completely stock body we're looking at.
The final clue about the X1 EV's existence comes from the Fiat 500e. Some have suggested it was actually built because California is forcing automakers to comply with its electric car mandate. Still, we're kind of glad to see BMW went through the trouble, because nobody else has built an electric CUV yet.
❐ Check out the BMW X1 EV photo gallery