2014 BMW C evolution: First Photos and Specs

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The 2014 BMW C evolution may not look like or perform like a Mission RS or Brammo Empulse, but it’ll achieve something those bikes from boutique brands cannot: volume sales. This maxi scooter is the first production electric two-wheeler from a major manufacturer.

We first got wind that BMW was developing an electric scooter way back in 2010, with the Concept C. That model teased the C evolution’s electric motivation and the styling of the now-released BMW C 600 Sport and C 650 GT. Then, last year, we saw the C evolution in “near production prototype” form. Now, just released at the Frankfurt Motor Show, is the C evolution that will go on-sale some time next year.

2014 BMW C evolution
2014 BMW C evolution

The C evolution isn’t just a C 600 Sport with batteries stuck in where the engine should be. Despite the styling similarities, it’s a ground-up electric vehicle. The steel battery cases serve as the chassis, running under the floorboard and connecting the conventional forks to the rear swingarm and its left-side monoshock. Nor does BMW cheap out with a motor mounted in the wheel hub (an arrangement that drastically increases unsprung weight), instead mounting the electric motor on the swingarm, in conventional scooter form, then driving the rear wheel via a belt.

That electric motor develops a continuous 15bhp, good for a 75mph top speed, but can peak at up to 47bhp. Combined with 53lb-ft of torque — more than a 600cc supersport bike develops — acceleration is very strong. 0-62mph takes 6.2 seconds.

The 8kWh battery capacity is said to be good for “over 62 miles” of range in realistic city driving conditions while a typical European 220v/12a outlet can charge the battery from flat to full in four hours.

2014 BMW C evolution
2014 BMW C evolution

As you’d expect from a futuretastic BMW, the technology doesn’t stop there. To maximize range, they’re strongly pushing regenerative braking, packaging verious levels of regen into four different, user selectable riding modes:

Road mode: full accelerating power is available here, while energy is recuperated at a rate of approx. 50% when coasting with the throttle closed. Recuperation takes place during braking as well. The standard operating range is achieved in this mode.

Eco Pro mode: the drag torque when coasting is increased significantly in this mode and a maximum recuperation rate together with the restricted accelerating power and the resulting limit on energy output enables the range to be extended by 10-20%. The higher drag torque manifests itself for the rider as a sharper decelerating torque when the throttle is released. The highest range is achieved in this ride mode.

Sail mode: in this mode, the electric motor does not build up drag torque and recuperation only takes place when braking. As a result, riders will notice that next to no braking torque is generated when the throttle is released, allowing the vehicle to glide along virtually free of any braking effect – a riding experience that is unheard of on conventionally powered two-wheelers.

Dynamic mode: for extra-dynamic performance, this mode combines full accelerating power with a sharp rate of recuperation and therefore a high level of drag torque.

There’s also a form of traction control that BMW is calling “Torque Control Assist.” It monitors wheels speeds, stepping in to cut torque if the rear spins up faster than the front and also if the regenerative braking causes enough drag to reduce rear wheel traction. As with all other bikes in the BMW lineup, ABS is standard.

2014 BMW C evolution
2014 BMW C evolution

A large, full-color TFT display does the usual instrumentation stuff, also displaying, “power output in kW, average consumption in kWh/100 km, total power consumption, battery charge status, average speed, voltage of the onboard electrical system and the high-voltage system, and the remaining range in kilometres taking into account the selected ride mode.”

All external lighting is handled by LEDs; an excellent choice for an electric vehicle due to their low power draw and great for city riding thanks to their extreme brightness.

2014 BMW C evolution
2014 BMW C evolution

In another dose of Teutonic practicality, heated grips are standard.

Price and availability are TBA, stay tuned to RideApart for updates.

  • Toly

    “Sail mode: in this mode, the electric motor does not build up drag torque and recuperation only takes place when braking. As a result, riders will notice that next to no braking torque is generated when the throttle is released, allowing the vehicle to glide along virtually free of any braking effect – a riding experience that is unheard of on conventionally powered two-wheelers.”

    I guess whoever wrote this piece of spam never tried pullin’ in der clutch, when releasin’ zer throttle, on a conventional two-wheeler.

    • http://metabomber.com/ Jesse

      SAIL.

    • appliance5000

      They should call it the “bad technique” mode – but people do what people do.

      • grindz145

        Alternatively, throw-away free energy mode.

  • Justin McClintock

    Trying to care. Failing miserably. Call me when the batteries are swappable at the nearest gas station. Then I’ll care.

    • 480272

      When the Mission R becomes mainstream we won’t be making comments like this. Electric bikes are very interesting not only from the tech point but also a whole new way to look at weight distribution.

      • Justin McClintock

        “When”? I think what you meant to say was, “If”. Lots of bikes have come and gone that were supposed to be revolutionary and in the end weren’t even relevant. Electric bikes (and cars) will eventually be relevant, no doubt. But that doesn’t mean Mission necessarily will be.

        • http://RideApart.com/ Wes Siler

          Mission is relevant right now. Nothing else is faster, it’s that simple.

          • Justin McClintock

            Do a survey. See how many people have seen one out on the road. I’ll bet it’s bordering on 0. For the public, it’s about as relevant as a Desmosedici. In other words, it’s not, at least not right now.

  • appliance5000

    That’s a nicely done machine – very well proportioned and finished. If the price is reasonable it could do very well. I don’t have a garage but I could ride into my freight elevator and bring it into the studio – hmmm.

    • http://metabomber.com/ Jesse

      Park it next to the desk. That’s a feature.

      • appliance5000

        Without flammable fluids the paradigm changes. I’ll just run an extension cord and leave it next to the couch.

        • Chris Winkler

          I guess batteries never short out and start fires eh? *cough* Fisker *cough*

          • appliance5000

            You have dozens of batteries in your home and a pretty big one in your pocket (cell)- but I’ll take your advice and leave the Karma outside. Now turn your head to the left and….

          • http://protomech.wordpress.com/ protomech

            The various Fisker fires – a couple that I’ve read about that have burned while driving, and 16 during Hurricane Sandy (1 initial, winds spread the fire to the other 15) – were reportedly due to the low-voltage battery system, not the high-voltage lithium pack. There was an additional house fire with a Fisker involved .. I can’t find anything about a final cause there.

            http://www.edmunds.com/car-news/fisker-reveals-cause-of-karma-fires-during-hurricane-sandy.html

            A bad battery design can certainly lead to a fire in bad conditions. You know all those reports of customer-owned Volts, LEAFs, and Tesla vehicles catching fire? That sold in far greater quantities than the Karma?

            ..

            well, maybe Fisker is just bad at designing electrical systems.

  • lennard schuurmans

    the wheels are to small and it looks heavy. Some small changes in the design would have a big impact. missed opportunity

  • PeteN95

    How much does it weigh? How much does it cost? Compared to one of the C600s?

    • http://RideApart.com/ Wes Siler

      584lbs.

      As mentioned in the article, no price has been announced yet.

  • ticticticboom

    I’m guessing $15k

  • vince

    that scooter as inverted forks… and not the f800r … oh wow!

  • Justin McClintock

    No. That scenario doesn’t specifically spell out the solution. I have. And I’m quite certain what I’m suggesting will in fact come to fruition at some point. But that point hasn’t arrived….yet.

    • grindz145

      Why would you swap a battery when you can charge it in 10 minutes? That’s the direction things are heading, swapping will only be a niche thing at best.

      • Justin McClintock

        No they’re not. Physics gets in the way. Remember, you’re still converting molecules of one material to that of another material. That doesn’t happen in an instant. People always seem to ignore that side of things. And the faster you attempt to charge a battery, the less efficient the charging process will be. Go down that road too far and you’ll have electric vehicles that are both less efficient than gas ones, and still take longer to “refuel”.

        • grindz145

          6C charging means charged in 10 minutes. There are some cells capable of 20C charging. Welcome to the future my friend. Physics is not in the way, bingbong.

          • Justin McClintock

            Where was 6C charging mentioned? This thing charges in 4 hours, not 6 minutes. Show me some mass produced cells with any kind of capacity that will charge in 6 minutes. We’re not there yet…because physics is in the way, bingbong.

            • grindz145

              4 hours is an infrastructure/charger limit. Building a larger charge station is much easier than a battery-swap station. ChaDeMo can charge this thing in 20 minutes. I like your “physics” reference though. It’s cute.

              • Justin McClintock

                Infrastructure limit? You apparently know nothing of infrastructure then. Tesla’s quick charging stations are running 480V and a helluva lot more than 12A. Infrastructure! Ha! What a joke!

                And let’s see some numbers from this ChaDeMo. A link would be nice.

                • grindz145

                  Good point Justin, There is a Tesla supercharger at every corner store and gas station in the world. They are also 100% compatible with the J1772 charging standard common to most electric vehicles. I’m glad to learn that all of the infrastructure limits have been lifted.

                • Justin McClintock

                  So where’s that link? I must say, I’m quite curious about this ability to charge a battery like this in 20 minutes like you claim (which mind you, is still roughly 10 times longer than it takes to fill up a gas scooter).