Electric scooters and motorcycles will feature more in the BMW motorcycle range over the coming years as the company places even more emphasis on the development of electric vehicles.
BMW earned the title as the first major motorcycle manufacturer to release an electric model when the C Evolution electric scooter was launched in 2014.
Although being very heavy at 265kg, the C Evolution performs well.
The water cooled electric engine produces peak power of 35kW, it has a top speed of around 120km/h and a range of 100km.
It also has a very reasonable charge time of just 3 hours.
The C Evolution has all the right features for an alternative urban machine, but unfortunately hasn’t been the sales success BMW would have hoped for.
It has never been imported into Australia and European sales were limited primarily because of the scooter’s cost.
With governments demanding environmentally clean vehicles to meet ever tightening emissions requirements, BMW acknowledges that electric vehicles are here to stay.
And even though the company is satisfied with the C Evolution scooter, it is working to make it more viable as an alternative form of transport to petrol and diesel powered machines.
The C Evolution uses 3 of the same batteries as the i3 electric car, and as sales of electric cars increases the cost of producing the batteries should drop.
BMW is reportedly also working to redesign the electric motor of the C Evolution, hoping to reduce its cost but this may come with an impact to the scooter’s performance.
Looking to the future, there is also the possibility of an electric version of the C1 going into production.
The C1 was an “all weather” enclosed scooter produced in 2001 and 2002.
It was designed to offer the convenience of a scooter or motorbike but without many of the associated dangers.
BMW incorporated passive safety features into the C1 and claimed that in a head-on collision, it offered a standard of protection comparable to that of a European compact car.
Initial sales were good, but drastically falling sales in it’s second year forced the C1 out of production.
The same design platform was used in 2009 for the C1-E, an electric scooter concept vehicle.
BMW also recently released details of it’s eRR experimental sports bike based on the S 1000 RR.