Later this year, BMW will unveil two new maxi-scooters based on the BMW Concept C. Sadly, neither will be electric. Instead, this BMW Concept e previews those bikes’ styling and likely a future zero-emissions scooter. Emphasis on the future, this concept is in no way close to production.
Of the two maxi-scoots debuting later this year, likely at EICMA, BMW says only that they’ll both use two-cylinder engines. Like this Concept e, they’ll likely adapt the Concept C’s bold styling. This electric scooter, though, moves away from the aggressive angularity into smoother, rounder forms that are immediately reminiscent of Battlestar Galactica space ships.
Those clean shapes represent the intended purpose — something that fits into a slick future — well, but are interrupted by overly fussy detailing. The LED lights are neat, but most of the shapes in them appear function-less. As is the green “afterburner” ahead of the rear wheel. Expect all that nonsense to disappear for production, as will the general purity of the shapes as they’re adapted to meet the realities of production cost and the various international regulations for light viewing angles and license plate placement.
Of technical details, BMW is remarkably vague, saying only that the Concept e has a “realistic” range of around 60 miles. That likely includes a mix of high and low speed driving; BMW is keen to emphasize that the scooter is capable of overtaking on “high speed urban motorways” while carrying a passenger. Confusingly, the company also claims a from-flat recharge time of just three hours from a standard outlet. With most decent-range electric bikes taking six to eight hours to do the same on 110v, we’re guessing they’re talking about using a 220v outlet.
BMW has previously teased details of the electric scooter drivetrain being developed.
We’re impressed with the clean, friendly execution of the design, but a bit disappointed that BMW is still in concept phase with its electric scooter. It’ll soon be 2012, we want to see bikes like this on the road and in showrooms at a realistic price, not on slick white turntables at foreign auto shows.