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BMW c Evolution Electric Scooter Review: Coming Soon to a Future Near You

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Introduction: BMW Bets on Green
BMW Electric Scooter Review

Green, get it?

Photo © BMW
It bears a passing resemblance to BMW's internal combustion C 600 Sport and C 650 GT, but the c Evolution electric scooter concept is a quantum technological leap forward for the German bike manufacturer. Though no exact release date is being offered, it won't hit US roads any time before the year 2014... that said, I enjoyed a rare opportunity to test ride a version of the c Evolution which BMW is referring to as a "roadworthy concept that's close to production."

What's Beneath That Funky Bodywork?

Powered by three lithium ion battery modules plucked from BMW's i3 city car concept (each of which incorporates 12 cells), the c Evolution produces the equivalent of 14.75 hp continuously, or a peak of 46.93 horsepower from the swingarm-mounted motor. Interestingly, the die-cast aluminum battery housing acts as a load bearing chassis element, helping keep the bike's center of gravity low while also offering protection for the batteries in the event of a crash. A continuously variable transmission directs power to the rear wheel via a belt drive, because the engine's quiet operation highlighted the noise created by a traditional chain.

How About Top Speed and Range?

The c Evolution's top speed is electronically limited to 75 mph, and a full charge is possible in 3 hours when using a 220 volt, 16 amp hookup. Based on average riding patterns, this electric scooter is estimated to have a cruising range of 62 miles.

What's it like to ride the c Evolution through the streets of London? Click "Next" to find out.

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