German manufacturer BMW has revealed its two latest electric vehicles – though neither is a car.
The first is a signal that the 3 Series maker is considering a move into the e-scooter market, despite laws in the UK prohibiting the use of private models on the road – though hire schemes in busy cities have been legalised.
The Clever Commute is an e-scooter with a 12-mile range and a battery that can be removed so it can be charged in the home without bringing the vehicle inside.
The second concept is the Dynamic Cargo electric bike, which could make the lives of Deliveroo riders less exhausting – without adding to the nation’s air pollution levels.
Is BMW entering the e-scooter market? The German brand has showcased its new Clever Commute concept vehicle
BMW says the Clever Commute is designed for ‘last mile’ journeys.
With the vehicle folding so it will fit into the boot of a saloon car, the commuter can drive to the outskirts of town to park and use the electric stand-on scooter to reach their office or destination of choice in the city.
It’s aimed at reducing congestion, time wasted by drivers in traffic and air pollution.
But it could also be seen as the ideal mode of transport to avoid inner-city emissions charge zones, such as London soon-to-expand Ultra Low Emission Zone or the raft of Clean Air Zones to follow those already launched in Birmingham.
It would mean drivers could keep their non-compliant petrol and diesel cars, but avoid ULEZ charges of £12.50 a day (granted the office is less than 12 miles away from the outskirts of the North and South Circular roads) or the Birmingham CAZ daily rate of £8.
The German brand says the e-scooter is designed for ‘last mile’ journeys. It can be folded to fit into the boot of a saloon car, then when the driver reaches the outskirts of the city they can used the electric vehicle to reach their workplace
The e-scooter has a folding footboard and the rear wheel can be pivoted back to shorten the wheelbase. BMW says this makes it ideal for taking up and down escalators when using public transport or getting around the city
The Clever Commute e-scooter was showcased earlier this week alongside a new Dynamic Cargo e-bike
If you do run out of juice on the way into work, the e-scooter also has a ‘public transport mode’, where the footboard folds up at the sides and the rear wheel can be pivoted back to shorten the wheelbase.
And charging is easy as the owner can remove it entirely from the scooter’s frame, carry it into their home or workplace and plug it into the mains for the next journey.
BMW says it won’t be producing the e-scooter in-house, but has already been ‘in discussions with potential licensees’.
Like the scooter, the e-bike has an electric range of 12 miles and a battery that can be removed so the user can charge the batteries in their home or office
The e-bike has a pivot in the frame so when the rider is turning the handlebars tilt but the rear wheel stays flat. This allows for the rear section to be used to transport good – or children
The battery powers the two rear wheels and the electric motor supports the rider as soon as they start to pedal
As for the Dynamic Cargo e-bike, this also has a 12-mile range but is narrower and shorter than conventional bicycles.
‘Our goal was to develop a concept that retains the agility and driving feel of a normal bicycle while adding innovative, safe transport option,’ says Jochen Karg, head of vehicle concepts in the BMW Group’s New Technologies and China division.
The key component of the three-wheeled Dynamic Cargo is the front main frame, which is connected to the rear section via a pivot axle and tilts in corners.
It means the rear section remains flat when the rider is cornering so the cargo – such as children or chicken tikka masala deliveries – won’t be thrown around.
While it does have pedals, the electrified powertrain activates as soon as the rider starts to use them, with the supplementary power going to the two rear wheels only.
A number of modular rear section elements can be chosen, from a child seat to a surf-board carrier
There is even the choice of a folding deck chair so riders can pull up and take in the scenery when out and about
BMW says it is not planning to build the e-scooter or e-bike concepts themselves but is ‘in discussions with potential licensees’ about the manufacturing of the vehicles
The German maker says it offers ‘greater riding stability in all weather conditions compared to two-wheeler designs’ but is also easier to pick up and carry around the city on public transport.
The concept has a range of different rear section options, from a child seat to a surf-board carrier.
There is even the choice of a folding deck chair so riders can pull up and take in the scenery when out and about.
There is also the choice of a storage unit for fast-food delivery riders to keep items hot – or for commuters to store rain gear for the eventual downpour they’re likely to encounter in the UK.
Like the Clever Commute e-scooter, BMW says it won’t make the e-bike itself but has been in discussions with potential partners to manufacturer the Dynamic Cargo.
Earlier this month, the German auto brand revealed its new CE 04 electric motorbike, which is set to cost around £10,000.
It has an 80-mile range, a 75mph top speed and a matching light-up parka jacket.
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