There's been no shortage of folding electric scooters covered here at Gizmag, but these have largely been the handiwork of spritely start-ups and idealistic entrepreneurs. The experienced heads at BMW have now signaled an intention to get in on the action, unveiling an eye-catching electric vehicle concept inspired by the good old-fashioned kick scooter.
BMW says that the Mini CitySurfer concept would be compact enough when folded up to be carried on buses and trains or thrown in the back of the car. Aimed at providing a last-mile transport option, it weighs 18 kg (40 lb), which isn't among the lighter folding scooters we have come across, but it's not exactly mixing it with the heavyweights either.
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The vehicle's lithium-ion battery is charged by a 12-volt automobile socket or regular wall outlet, and combines with regenerative braking to enable a range of 15 to 25 km (10 to 15 mi). Acceleration is thumb-operated and driven by a gearless hub motor in the rear wheel that is claimed to allow a top speed of 25 km/h (15 mph).
For those keeping a keen eye on all things folding, electric and scootering, these specs won't be exactly mind-blowing. Models that are already available and capable of such feats include the 8.0 kW XOR folding scooter with a range of 75 km (47 mi) and top speed of 120 km/h (75 mph), and the Scuddy, which hit the market back in 2012, can reach 35 km/h (21.7 mph) and cover up to 40 km (25 mi) on a single charge.
There's no word yet on if or when when the Mini CitySurfer might enter production, but the arrival of a prestigious vehicle manufacturer on the folding scooter scene may just prompt the odd commuter to ponder new ways of getting about town.
Source: BMWView gallery - 34 images