BMW electrifies inner-city micromobility with cargo trike and kickscooter
Following the production announcement of the C-04 electric scooter earlier this month, BMW Group Research designers have returned to the micromobility drawing board for two new concepts – the Dynamic Cargo e-trike and the Clever Commute electric kickscooter.
We've jumped aboard BMW's micromobility concept train a few times in the past – including a five-wheeled personnel mover for factories and covered roads raised above city streets – and like many design studies, most will get no further than the idea stage. And though the X2City and the Concept Link have made it into production, BMW is clear that it won't be making the Dynamic Cargo or the Clever Commute, but is in talks with other manufacturers to license the designs so we may yet see them at some point in the future.
"Our goal was to develop a concept that retains the agility and driving feel of a normal bicycle while adding innovative, safe transport options," said Jochen Karg, Head of Vehicle Concepts at BMW's New Technologies and China division. "The 'Concept Dynamic Cargo' is the first dynamic 'pick-up' cargo bike that combines driving pleasure with flexible use and increased year-round suitability."
The front of the cargo e-trike's frame is joined to the rear section by a pivot axle that allows the rider to lean into corners while the rear section remains upright. BMW says that this setup should offer "far greater riding stability in all weather conditions compared to two-wheeler designs," while also offering a bicycle-like riding experience.
Since the cargo area doesn't tilt into the turns, a number of cargo bay modules could be possible – with BMW examples including securing a child seat atop a cargo box, attaching a low-riding flat-bed platform, folding out a recliner for rest stops at the local park, or even strapping on a surfboard and heading to the beach.
As mentioned, there's also talk of "a modular system of weather protection," though no further details are given. But since fenders are already shown in the supplied renders, we're guessing that this could be some kind of lightweight canopy to help shield the rider from the elements.
The Dynamic Cargo concept features a spoked front wheel and solid rear wheels, the latter driven by the electric powertrain that automatically provides assist as soon as the rider starts to pedal. Given the early design status, there are no specific details on the electric drive but if this thing gets made for the European market, then you can expect it to provide assist up to 25 km (15.5 mph). BMW does mention that the removable battery pack should be good for more than 20 km (12 miles) per charge, though.
The supplied renders also show disc braking to the front, fenders on each wheel (with the rear ones each sporting a funky red reflector), and an adjustable bicycle seat. Another point of note is the lack of belt or chain connecting the cranks to the rear wheels.
The Clever Commute electric kickscooter has been designed as a last-mile companion, with BMW pitching this concept for both private ownership and shared mobility models.
It folds down to compact proportions for transport between rides, and though actual dimensions haven't been shared, BMW reckons that it would fit lengthways in the trunk of 3 Series and up vehicles without needing to fold down rear seating, or crossways in a Mini.
BMW designers have also suggested a novel public transport mode where the deck is popped up and the pivoting rear wheel moved into the gap that's created to shorten the overall length. This essentially means that the Clever Commute can ride an escalator without having to be folded down, or perhaps be squeezed into a tight gap on a packed train.
Usefully, the e-scoot can be rolled along on both wheels in this mode, making it easier to control than doing so on a single wheel. The hub motor in the front wheel can also provide some assistance if needed.
As with the Dynamic Cargo concept, BMW promises a stable ride for more than 20 km per charge, and the Clever Commute comes with a battery pack that can be removed for charging indoors. No other performance specs are given, but the renders do show disc braking front and rear, fenders on both wheels, internally routed cabling, carry handles on the double stem, a relatively wide (but short) deck, a chunky angular section to the front that likely houses the battery, and a sharkfin reflector out back.