BMW E-Scooter Prototype First Look

July 5, 2011
Bart Madson
By Bart Madson
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Bashing away at the MotoUSA keyboard for nine years now, Madson lends his scribbling and editorial input on everything from bike reviews to industry analysis and motorcycle racing reports.

BMW has revealed the E-Scooter  an electric-powered concept maxi scooter.
The E-Scooter prototype is a development study by BMW aided in part by German government funds.

 BMW has revealed an electric-powered maxi scooter concept. Dubbed a “development study” by the Bavarian marque, the E-Scooter project was aided by government funds via the German Federal Ministry of Transport, Building and Urban Development.

“This is certainly a maxi scooter regarding its size, its weight and also the top speed,” says a BMW representative in promotional video. “The BMW electric scooter is the only scooter that achieves a range of 100 kilometers and can run top speed that is required on city highways.”

Pitched as an urban vehicle, the E-Scooter 0-60 km/h acceleration is reputed by BMW as comparable to “current maxi scooters powered by a 600cc combustion engine.” The batteries powering this scoot to its claimed 100 km (62 miles) range take three hours to recharge from “empty.” The battery chemistry, presumably a lithium-ion derivative, is not specified by BMW.

A single-sided swingarm projects out the left side  concealing the electric-drive system  and is mounted to the battery casing via horizontal left side monoshock.
The left side swingarm conceals the E-Scooters electric drive system, which transfers power to rear wheel via roller chain.

The E-Scooter chassis revolves around the batteries, the aluminum battery casing functioning as the frame with the tubular subframe and steering head support both bolt directly to the casing. The suspension components include an inverted fork up front. A single-sided swingarm projects out the left side, concealing the electric-drive system (more on this later), and is mounted to the battery casing via horizontal left side monoshock.

The bulky swingarm gives an initial impression that the E-Scooter might sport a hub-mounted motor, but the power unit rests behind the batteries on the aluminum casing/frame. The motor turns a secondary drive via toothed belt, the secondary drive located directly below the motor shaft and at the swingarm pivot axis. It transmits power to the rear wheel by roller chain, the final drive concealed under the swingarm. The BMW electric power train also includes regenerative braking, the effect of the energy recovery system increasing range by 10-20%.

The motor and charger are both liquid-cooled, with the batteries air-cooled. Like the batteries, no specific details are listed on the Beemer motor’s type or power output numbers. Other than the aforementioned 0-60 km/h comparison, power claims are limited to BMW’s promise that: “The concept vehicle BMW E-Scooter provides the necessary sustained output and maximum speed for safe and reliable overtaking on urban motorways and also when carrying two people. It is also easily capable of managing hill starts on steep slopes with a pillion passenger.”

Pitched as an urban vehicle  the E-Scooter 0-60 km h acceleration is reputed by BMW as comparable to current maxi scooters powered by a 600cc combustion engine.
Could BMW jump into the maxi scooter realm with two or more models in the upcoming 2012 lineup?

BMW has been expected to debut a production version of the Concept C maxi-scooter it revealed at last year’s EICMA Milan Bike Show. Many of the non-electric components sourced by the E-Scooter seem to have migrated from the Concept C prototype, including the horizontal shock placement. This latest “development study” hints that BMW might just jump feet first back into the scooter game.

Expect more details on BMW’s scooter plans during this upcoming round of European bike shows. 

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