A year ago, BMW Motorrad (the motorcycle division of the BMW Group) launched its Concept C Scooter, which was aimed at bringing BMW into the worldwide scooter market where it current has no representation.
Today, BMW unveiled its i3 and i8 electric concept cars in Frankfurt, which address the idea of sustainable transport on four wheels. In combination with this, BMW Motorrad has unveiled Concept e, which continues to target the scooter segment and look at electric mobility on two wheels.
The designers’ premise was that the vehicle had to do more than just function – it had to arouse the rider's emotions, too. It had to inspire the rider and reflect its specific technology features.
So in the case of the Concept e, the aim was to translate the character of electric drive technology to the vehicle's outward appearance. As in other BMW motorcycles, the so-called split face runs from the upper trim section to above the front wheel cover, giving the Concept e an unmistakable, dynamic front view.
The Motorrad design style is also reflected in the styling of the twin-tipped spoiler in the floating panel of the front trim, a boomerang-shaped, floating panel.
The short, sporty rear highlights the active riding character of the electric scooter, giving it a visual sense of dynamic performance, which is underscored by the low cut windshield.
The dynamic performance is reflected in the color and material concept. The front and rear side trim finished in “Light white” contrasts with components such as the upper trim section in “Black chrome light” and side sills coated in “Black chrome dark”.
The overall impression of quality is borne out by finely cut details “Natural aluminum”, the solid-milled holder for the front trim section and the central tunnel in “Textured steel”. The design of the wheels is derived from the styling of the BMW i automobiles.
Made from acrylic glass and featuring a rear-set metal grid and "Concept e" lettering, the battery covers and drive unit in “Electric yellow” symbolize the technical character of the scooter.
In combination with other accentuations in “Electric yellow” such as the front trim section, the rear section and the hollow-bore wheel axle, these show the vehicle's environmental compatibility. To match this, the charging socket is positioned in the front of the central tunnel and features a transparent plastic cover.
The Concept e dispenses with conventional mirrors, prefering two video cameras integrated in the rear light, which displays the road behind on two LCD monitors in the cockpit. Speed and other relevant data is shown on a digital display in the cockpit.
Drawing on the BMW Group’s e-technology, its high voltage technology (>60 volts) enables electric powered vehicles to accelerate at the same rate as a combustion-engined maxi scooter.
The generous storage capacity of the battery, with intelligent battery management and brake energy recuperation will ensure a realistic range of 60 miles for everyday use.
What’s more, BMW Motorrad is aiming to achieve a continuous output and maximum speed to allow safe overtaking on urban freeways when carrying a passenger.
The battery is charged by a regular household sockets and does not need a special charging station. When the battery is completely flat, the charging period is less than three hours. Practical experience with concept vehicles has already shown that the battery rarely runs out completely, so charging times are generally shorter.