BMW Concept e electro-scooter looks the real deal
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.
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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.