The BMW E1 was a concept car released in the 1990s. While it didn’t look like much from the outside the design was great. The technology that went into the E1 was far ahead of the time. Like with most electric vehicles from this period, BMW had to stick to a fairly compact design (via Car & Driver).
The E1 was never mass-produced, but BMW continued to perfect the technology for years to come. While most modern EV manufacturers are getting all the notoriety it was BMW that was one of the first major players.