Video: BMW Motorrad Concept e - The electric scooter of tomorrow?

Consumer Reports News: September 19, 2011 02:23 PM

At the 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show, BMW introduced its BMW Motorrad Concept e, a city-focused electric scooter. The Concept e promises performance on par with large conventional scooters and a recharge time under three hours.

Termed a “design study,” the Concept e adapts the high-voltage (60-plus volts) technology seen in the BMW i concept cars to deliver the power and range. BMW cites a “realistic range” of 60 miles, which is more than ample for urban scooter commuting, though the company notes that the electric scooter can cruise at highway speeds.

The e can be recharged from a regular household outlet, and therefore it doesn’t need a special charging station or depend on a developed infrastructure.

As the video walk-around explains, the Concept e has several nice touches that combine form and function, such as the protective fairing and the video displays that replace traditional side mirrors. The coolest element has to be the battery-cooling fan, cleverly placed to give the scooter a sci-fi look, as if powered by a small turbine.

Of greater significance, the styling may portend of two new premium large scooters that are scheduled for production later this year, each with a conventional two-cylinder engine.

The Concept e isn't the first electric scooter. Vectrix briefly sold an electric scooter, until the company went out of business. As a reputable motorcycle maker with an established dealer network and enthusiast base, BMW would likely fair better should they bring the Concept e to market.

Learn more about motorcycles and scooters.

Jeff Bartlett

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