It’s something that has all the makings of a movie – newcomer bursts on to the scene with an EV capable of stupendous range, demonstrating so in a run. Then, allegations of foul play surface, and before independent verification on the vehicle and its ability can be carried out, it’s mysteriously burnt in a fire.

Negative publicity ensues, and said company retreats, even shutting its website down for a while. That would be the end of that, and undoubtedly it would be left in many minds that everything might have been pretty much hogwash. Save the point that the battery didn’t perish along with the car, and now, with independent tests having been done on it, it does look like that what was claimed for it do hold up. Reputation restored, or at least salvaged.

The company is DBM Energy, and with a modified Audi A2 EV equipped with an experimental electric powerplant – developed as part of a government-sponsored project with energy provider Lekker Energie – managed to complete a 600 km, seven hour Berlin-Munich run on a single charge last October.

Little Lekker Mobil, as the A2 was called, accomplished it all with the heater running and with electricity left over in the pack. The wonder battery was DBM’s 98kWh ultra-high capacity lithium metal polymer-based battery nicknamed Kolibri (Hummingbird in German), which utilised a complex membrane technology from which the cells achieve a high degree of stability and efficiency.

According then to Mirko Hanemann, its inventor, the Hummingbird was said to be 97% efficient and chargeable from virtually any socket; plug it in to a high voltage DC source and the battery is fully charged in just six minutes.

Stupendous figures, and certainly ones that would have rewritten the record books, save the allegations that came about after that all might not have been what it seemed during the run. The German motoring organisation ADAC raised suggestions that the car, which was driven by Hanemann, might have been tampered with enroute when it disappeared from view of journos for half an hour during the record setting run.

There were calls to have the battery pack in the record-breaking car verified by independent experts, but before that could be accomplished, Little Lekker Mobil was no more, gutted in a Berlin warehouse by a fire now suggested to have been deliberately started. Mysteriously, the battery pack didn’t perish in the January fire, having been removed beforehand. The circumstances of the car’s demise obviously didn’t help DBM – or Hanemann’s – cause.

Now, reports say that what was achieved by the Hummingbird is true. The battery that made the run has now been examined by federal German experts, who have vindicated the technology – the experts say the battery was genuine in its abilities and have thus endorsed last year’s record-run.

The validation tests were carried out on the original battery unit by the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM) in January this year. Because the October run was disputed, DBM also brought in independent validation firm DEKRA to carry out more validation tests, which were completed recently.

Here, the reports say, the required condition of covering a distance of 300 km within seven days was met in one session on a roller dynamometer; placed in an Audi A2 converted to electric propulsion, the Hummingbird LMP battery developed precisely 62.928 kWh for a total vehicle weight of 1,500kg, giving an indicated range of 454.83 km on a single charge.

Adjusting for the battery capacity of 98 kWh at the time of the record setting run, the range offered then would have been 714 km, a pretty staggering distance for any EV.

“The whole story is so amazing that it actually belongs in Hollywood,” Hannemann was quoted as telling German press agency dpa. Hannemann said with all the test results verified, DBM would no longer need to prove itself, but admitted it had been naive in trumpeting its claims so soon.

So, hero to zero to hero again, at least in principle. You can imagine that the next time Hanemann attempts a record run, if he ever does so again, he will have learnt not to disappear for the briefest of moments, even if it’s a spot of tea or the privacy of a toilet break that beckons. It does make things much easier.