At the IAA '91 in Frankfurt (Germany), BMW presented it's E1, the first specially designed electric car for urban traffic. This paper gives a survey of the development goals. Further details will be presented describing the concept of the car including the safety system, the concept of the drivetrain and the heating system. The selection of material is presented which gives high potential for recycling and for the use of recycled materials. Additionally, the effects on energy consumption and environmental impacts are described and compared with conventional cars and EV's of older design.