BMW announced global sales of 5,237 motorcycles in January, a new record for the first month and an 11.1% increase from the 4,714 units sold in January 2011. The record month follows a banner year for BMW which sold a record 104,286 motorcycles in 2011. “After a record year in 2011, the new year has […]
BMW Unveils “Near-Production” C Evolution Electric Scooter Prototype
BMW has unveiled the a new “near-production” prototype of its electric maxi-scooter. The German manufacturer has produced five operational prototypes of the BMW C evolution scooter which will be showcased at various events around Europe to prepare for the launch of the serial production version.
The BMW C evolution maintains many of the styling cues from the Concept e scooter unveiled at the 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show. The white side body panels maintain their boomerang shape, though its much more angular and has a rectangular panel on its lower half. A refined split seat and mirrors with integrated turn signals complete the near-production picture.
The scooter is powered by a 14.8 hp continuous output electric motor (as measured by ECE R85 regulations) with a peak output of 46.9 hp. According to BMW, the C evolution has comparable 0-60 kph acceleration to 600cc internal combustion scooters. Top speed however is capped at 120 kph (74.56 mph).
Power the scooter is an 8kWh battery using the same lithium-ion storage modules as used on BMW’s i3 electric car. BMW focused on optimizing the cooling of the battery to maintain the lifespan of the cells while at the same time preventing excessively low temperatures to minimize the effect of interior resistance which would reduce power.
BMW decided to use air cooling for the battery in order to save space and weight. The battery casing has an aerodynamically-optimized cooling air shaft running through while the base has longitudinally-arranged cooling fins. BMW decided to take advantage of the battery’s size by using the die-cast aluminum battery casing as a load-bearing element of the chassis. The photos of the C evolution’s exposed chassis may look bulky and heavy but BMW claims the scooter’s weight is comparable to comparable scooters with combustion engines.
According to BMW, the battery can be charged in about 3 hours through a standard household socket or charging station. The battery can also be charged using the same sockets used for charging electric cars, a feature BMW claims as a first for an electric two-wheeler. Power is also harnessed through regenerative braking as well as drag torque, the electric motor equivalent of engine braking, which kicks in when the throttle is closed. BMW claims a range of 100 km (62 miles) on a full charge, with an additional 10-20% regained from braking or drag torque.
The suspension system is comprised of a 40mm upside down fork and a single-sided drivetrain swingarm with an adjustable spring. Both front and rear suspension offer 115 mm of travel.
The BMW C evolution uses 15-inch light-alloy die-cast wheels wrapped in Metzeler Feelgreen tires designed to reduce rolling resistance. The front wheel is equipped with 270mm twin disc brakes gripped by two-piston floating calipers. A single 270 disc brake with a two-piston caliper stops the rear wheel. Like all new BMW two-wheelers, the C evolution is equipped with ABS brakes.
Mounted under the tinted windscreen is a TFT screen which displays vehicle speed, battery charge state and a progress bar showing when power is being used for propulsion or regained through deceleration.