BMW unveils the C evolution electric scooter


July 29, 2012

A low center of gravity and the instant high-torque nature of the electric motor promises strong performance

A low center of gravity and the instant high-torque nature of the electric motor promises strong performance

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BMW Motorrad has been busying itself perfecting an electric scooter design for some time now and, following the early prototype E Scooter we first reported on last year, and the more fully formed Concept e model which popped up a few months later, the company has now unveiled a new “near-production” electric scooter named the BMW C evolution which boasts a reported 100 kilometers (62 miles) range from one full charge and some impressive styling to match.

Perhaps more useful than the three hour charge time of the C evolution is the fact that the scooter can reach 70 percent charge after approximately thirty minutes spent plugged in. In addition to this, the C evolution’s charge socket is same type currently implemented in many car charging stations throughout the USA and so the scooter can recharge at those locations - a feature which BMW claims is not currently offered by any other electric scooter.

Naturally, BMW is keen to market the C evolution as a primarily urban-based transport solution and this is likely where the scooter would be most at home. However, the company also points out that its electronically-limited 120 km/h (75 mph) top speed makes it suitable for motorway driving and overtaking, even with the additional weight of a passenger riding pillion.

Indeed, BMW claims that the C evolution has outstanding performance for an e-scooter, with a low center of gravity and the instant high-torque nature of the electric motor both combining to make the vehicle more than a match for the current crop of maxi scooters sporting a capacity in excess of 600 cc.

The C evolution's motor puts out 11 kW continuous output and 35 kW peak output and achieves its 100 kilometers (62 miles) range from a 8 kWh battery with the help of an intelligent system of energy recuperation, which works to save power when the throttle is closed. As is the case with a combustion engine, the generator function of the alternator creates drag torque, resulting in the familiar engine brake that takes effect when reducing the accelerator on a fuel-guzzling two-wheeler.

The C evolution further performs energy recuperation when braking, converting kinetic energy into electrical energy in order to charge the battery. By regaining energy in these two ways, the range of the C evolution is extended by up to 20 percent. All the relevant stats relating to this energy saving are all shown on a TFT display with a progress bar, allowing attentive riders to squeeze out every last inch of tarmac before needing juice.

The C evolution's technical specifications are as follows:

  • 11 kW continuous output (homologation according to ECE R85) and 35 kW peak output
  • 120 km/h (75 mph) maximum speed
  • Range of up to 100 kilometres (62 miles) due to large battery capacity
  • High-voltage battery with high capacity (8 kWh) and innovative air cooling
  • Intelligent recuperation in coasting mode and when braking
  • Short charging times
  • Synergy effects with BMW automobiles and electrical safety
to car standards
  • Hybrid chassis with agile handling due to low centre of gravity
  • Powerful braking system with ABS
  • Lightweight Metzeler Feelgreen tyres
  • Multifunctional TFT instrument cluster and LED daytime running light
  • Innovative colour concept and design

There's no word as to when we can expect the C evolution electric scooter to hit the market, nor the price it will command once it appears. However, BMW is currently undertaking trials of the C evolution in London, presumably with a view to beginning a wider manufacturing process relatively soon, should all go well.

Editor's note: this article was update on July 30, 2012 with the correct continuous motor output of 11 kW. We previously stated 1 kW. Thanks to all who notified us of the error.

Source: BMW Motorrad, via Inhabitat

About the Author
Adam Williams Adam scours the globe from his home in North Wales in order to bring the best of innovative architecture and sustainable design to the pages of Gizmag. Most of his spare time is spent dabbling in music, tinkering with old Macintosh computers and trying to keep his even older VW bus on the road. All articles by Adam Williams

I read 1kW continuous output in the article, then in the specifications, it 11 kW. I am wrong? Of you did confuse me?

Madan TheMad

would love to see this in the earlier BMW C1 form. I like the idea of a windshield, bubble for commuting...must be getting old.

Chris Hoskin

When and if a methodology is in place for a generic type recharge, weather car or M C, I would consider an electric powered veh. Until that time they serve no purpose to me. Yes they are cutting edge, but all these manufactures are not on the same page when it comes to recharging. So much for a 500 to 1000 mile trip without this ability. I'll keep my Harley for now.


So what's with the Zero-Payload Capacity? . . .No Top Case, No Luggage Rack, No Side-Cases or Room for Panniers!!! . . .how totally impractical! . . .Scooterists ride Scoots to Be Practical and do not deal with Li'l Backpacks as Sport Riders have to do!


Disappointing. I would rather have a production C1-E, mostly because I hate having to wear a hot, stuffy full-face helmet.


I wonder where the storage for the bloody great charging cable(s) are?

Ron Arnold

No info about EVEESS (Electric Vehicle Electronic Engine Sound System) to alert persons in front of the scooter? Today I read this on At other times, the near-silent electric motor makes driving through towns a test of vigilance, as I brace myself for all the pedestrians who will inevitably walk out in front of the Ampera without looking. It is time for EV manufacturers to include this.

Kenneth Palmestål
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