The abundance of water power from the mountains enabled the development and operation of electric locomotives very early on in Bavaria. The highpoint of this development was surely the EP 5, later designated as the E 52. Designed for heavy passenger service on steep grades, these locomotives had four traction motors and a continuous power rating of 1,660 kilowatts or 2,226 hp at a maximum speed of 90 km/h or 56 mph. A total of 35 units of the 140 metric ton EP 5 were built. It was delivered in 1924 in the brown paint scheme of the Bavarian Group Administration but was soon repainted in the gray German State Railroad paint scheme.
The DB acquired 29 units and they were initially painted in "bottle" green. Only part of the 22 units that reached Era IV were painted in "chrome oxide" green and all were spared the ocean blue paint scheme.