BMW Concept e electro-scooter looks the real deal


September 12, 2011

BMW Concept e Electro-scooter

BMW Concept e Electro-scooter

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BMW looks set to become the first of the recognized motorcycle brands to begin leveraging the unique advantages of the motorcycle in addressing the quickly changing landscape of urban mobility.

The Flying Propeller brand is to create a specialist "Urban Mobility" group, launch two premium, high-performance twin-cylinder maxi scooters before the end of the year, and will unveil a concept electro-scooter later today. Using the large volume of enclosed body space of a maxi scooter to contain all the necessaries, the 60 volt Concept e has a 100 kilometer (62 mile) range, recharges from flat inside three hours at a domestic power point, and the performance of a maxi scooter (expected to be equivalent to a 400-500cc commuter motorcycle).

The Concept e will be the first volume production two-wheeler without rear vision mirrors - twin rear-facing video cameras relay what's happening behind the vehicle to two LCD monitors in the cockpit.

The BMW Motorrad brand might only have sold 110,000 two-wheelers in the last year, but its premium values and the foresight of the brand's designers and custodians augers extremely well for the future, as can be seen by the Concept e electro-scooter which will break cover later this week in Frankfurt. At the same time the flying propeller is forcing its way to the forefront of enthusiast motorcycling, it has also superbly positioned itself to take two wheeled transport to the masses.

BMW Motorrad is to establish a new "Urban Mobility" group and will launch two premium, high-performance twin-cylinder maxi scooters before the end of the year. If the Concept e is any indication, we're going to see some very futuristic and environmentally-friendly two-wheelers in the near future.

Given that the Japanese have done almost nothing to retain their once-dominant share of the electric two wheel market, it's great that one of the established motorcycle brands is on the move.

About the Author
Mike Hanlon Mike grew up thinking he would become a mathematician, accidentally started motorcycle racing, got a job writing road tests for a motorcycle magazine while at university, and became a writer. As a travelling photojournalist during his early career, his work was published in a dozen languages across 20+ countries. He went on to edit or manage over 50 print publications, with target audiences ranging from pensioners to plumbers, many different sports, many car and motorcycle magazines, with many more in the fields of communication - narrow subject magazines on topics such as advertising, marketing, visual communications, design, presentation and direct marketing. Then came the internet and Mike managed internet projects for Australia's largest multimedia company, (Australia's largest Telco), (Australia's largest employment site),,, and a dozen other internet start-ups before founding Gizmag in 2002. Now he writes and thinks. All articles by Mike Hanlon

Finally someone working towards coming out with an e-scooter that is actually esthetically appealing!!! Thank you! I\'ll take one right now please.

Michael Taylor

100km is a bit short for range. I travel about 35km each way with a fair bit on freeways at 100km/hr. If I had to make any diversions, which I do from time to time, it would be cutting it too fine for comfort. An excursion to the other side of the city would be out of the question. 200km and I would jump at it for city use.

Ken Morrison

This would be just great for living in AK and taking short trips into Palmer or Wasilla. I would love it.

Renee Foley

The Internal combustion engine may suffer a quick death. The cause will be pollution and a possible link to the wormwood bomb of revelations. Although electric vehicles seem alright, there is no road maintenance without the IC engine. I recommend developing a wingless air vehicle

Stewart Mitchell

I agree with you Ken. 100km is too short... especially when you also consider the price tag this thing will have. In order for it to even make close to sense in a cost/usefulness analysis it would need to be 200km range. I\'d like to do more than just a daily commute. How about on my day off when I want to take a little day cruise to a nearby (within 100km) town or city? If it can\'t provide that for me as well then it\'s definitely not worth the $$$. I guess we just have to wait for the battery tech to improve.

Michael Taylor

The advantages of an electric scooter with such a fast recharge time should be obvious. A person can commute to school or work, charge the scooter while at work or in class and then drive it back home. Total round trip distance can be 120 miles for such use. With no gasoline or other flammable power source it should be possible for it to go on trains as with bicycles today and this would extend its useful range even more.

What is needed is for American city planners to wake up and start planning for something other than petroleum powered vehicles with subsidized roadways and subsidized on street and off street parking and instead do what has been done in Europe and China and build bike and scooter paths in town as a standard procedure. Eliminating the free on street parking that takes up two full lanes in most towns would be a good place to start. Add in outdoor outlets (useful for laptops as well) at public locations and these could take off in a big way.

The problem is not with battery technology but with closed minds that think only in terms of our perverted fielty to the gas powered car industry which is fundamentally unchanged after more than a century. We spend more and more on this outdated approach to moving people from point A to point B in the most economically and environmentally expensive way possible and this is solely an American obsession fed by decades of Detroit advertising.

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