BMW Goes Electric on Two Wheels, Too
In the past few years, the auto industry has been busy moving to electric drive. Much of the attention has been on cars and even semi trucks, but the motorcycle world is being impacted as well. One prime example is BMW’s new model of scooter. Let’s see why the new BMW C Evolution Electric Scooter is a game changer.
BMW is moving to electrify on two wheels and four
The Emergence of BMW C Evolution Electric Scooter
The motorcycle industry has becoming more and more competitive over the years. New companies have emerged on the scene and old companies continue to make innovations. BMW, for one, made another creation–the BMW C Evolution Electric Scooter.
BMW C Evolution Electric Scooter: The Specifications
Let’s look at this motorcycle’s specifications and features to get a better idea of why it has become such a game changer in the industry.
Model: C Series
Engine: Electric Motor
Top Speed: 80 mph
Battery: Air-cooled high-voltage battery
Battery Voltage: 133 V (nominal)
Features of the New BMW C Evolution Electric Scooter
The C Evolution is available in Ionic Silver Metallic and Electric Green. The color scheme emphasizes the shape of the motorcycle. Additionally, the touch of light electric green with the complementary color of the ionic silver, creates an attractive guise.
The electric performance of the C Evolution is at the same level as that of a combustion engine. With its 19 kW continuous output, and 35 kW peak output, this motorcycle offers remarkable power.
The C Evolution uses the same plug as electric cars
The version of the C Evolution for the European market also provides about the same level of drive power, with an 11 kW continuous output.
The C Evolution’s European version has top speeds of 129 km/h (80 mph)in long range and 120 km/h (74.5 mph) in the average range. So make sure you have all your safety equipment along.
With its engine technology, the C Evolution can take motorway driving and overtaking with complete ease. It can even carry two people with the same level of affluence. Plus, it can handle just about any type of road – from a steep slope to narrow roads.
Compared to traditional combustion engines, the C Evolution’s electric drive offers significant driving advantages, especially when you’re at low speeds. Its power electronics set-up allows the rider to have a sensitive and spontaneous response.
- Innovative Electric Drive
The C Evolution’s electric drive is integral to its swing arm. The e-motor behind the motorcycle’s battery casing functions as the swing arm’s integrated component.
BMW’s C Evolution also enables an optimum suspension set-up and a sensitive, yet spontaneous response. This is made possible by the proximity of the e-motor output shaft and the arm axles. Together, they minimize the inertia around the swing arm’s center of rotation.
The motorcycle’s secondary drive is positioned by the tooth belt from the location of the e-motor to the output shaft. The total gear reduction of the secondary drive is 1:8.28, and the e-motor’s maximum rotational speed is 10,000 rpm.
BMW has conducted a number of different road tests in order to develop a method of energy recuperation. Moreover, the C Evolution’s intelligent recuperation is unique from any other sing-track vehicles in the market. More importantly, it doesn’t have to initiate recuperation as the vehicle does the recuperation automatically when necessary.
BMW’s electric two-wheeler can keep up with the competition
The C Evolution makes use of Torque Control Assist (TCA) as the vehicle’s slip control feature. TCA limits the engine torque on rear wheel slip.
These features are only a few of the reasons why the new BMW C Evolution Electric Scooter is a game changer. Give it a try and see so for yourself. Basically, The C Evolution electric scooter has a lot of features to offer.
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A two-wheel electric alternative for around town
It’s got style–and batteries
Sometimes it’s just about getting from point A to point B with:
- Electric power
- Faster than you can pedal
- Without having to worry about parking a car
- Scoring some style points
Those four simple attributes sum up the GenZe 2.0 electric scooter from Mahindra, which I recently had the chance to take for a short test drive.
The genesis of the GenZe: Four years ago, the big ($17.8 billion in sales annually) India-based multinational company, Mahindra & Mahindra, looks at issues such as city population growth, congestion and a growing youth population and decided to move into a new segment in the American market. The product development folks were looking for a multi-functional utility vehicle, a “no hassle” product. Oh, and it had to be electric. It was destined to become the vehicle that would launch a new independent division.
The zippy little scooter has got enough style to pass for an Italian product and enough technology to justify the company’s headquarters in Silicon Valley. It has a removable 30-pound 1.6 kWhr lithium-ion battery that can be charged in a wall plug in three and a half hours. It has a cloud-based seven-inch touchscreen display just like what you find in a modern sedan that shows your speed, range and charge level. Telematics are built into the display’s computer brain with an eye toward potential rental fleet or commercial use. It has the capability to have a geo-locator or geofencing (which would limit it to function only within a defined area) as part of its technology package.
A Cruise around the Block
Also, just like a modern car, you don’t need a key to get going, simply enter a four-digit code when you hop on board, twist the throttle and off you go. The Mahindra GenZe 2.0 has a top speed of
Room for stuff; more hauling than you might expect
only 30 mph, but it gets there quickly. It feels even quicker because you sit upright with the wind in your face. The electric bike is stable, easy to maneuver and features enough storage space to haul a bag of groceries. The 30-mile range is more than enough for this class of mobility tool, which could be used for a short commute or around-town errands. Regenerative braking helps extend the range and the removable, plug-in battery offers some additional comfort on longer trips.
The Mahindra GenZe 2.0 retails for $2,999, including a year of free connectivity for the cloud-based electronics. Or it can be financed for as little as $68/month. The bike can be purchased online or at a dealer and can be delivered to your home. Initially Mahindra has dealers in California, Washington, Oregon and Michigan.
Check out this video of the Mahindra GenZe 2.0
The tech you’d expect out of Silicon Valley
It can handle a total of 295 pounds of payload. The aluminum bike itself weighs in at 232 pounds, so if it does tip over, it could be a handful to get upright again. The bike is assembled in Michigan.
Licensing varies state-to-state with the vehicle classified as a moped, which may require a special license. In California you can take a CHP-run certified training and safety course as a shortcut to getting the special M2 license. The Mahindra GenZe 2.0 comes with a three-year, 5,400-mile warranty.
The Mahindra GenZe 2.0 comes in four colors—white, charcoal, lime green and blue. I’d recommend the lime green for visibility and because if you’re riding one of these you probably want to be noticed. It has some other cool features such as a port to charge your cell phone while driving.
Like any good Silicon Valley piece of technology, the electric scooter has an app that can help with route planning, weather outlooks and even roadside diagnostics.
This division of Mahindra also has an electric bike available.
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Italian Electric Takes Superbike High Road; Harley Quiets Down & Looks For New Riders
It is official. The age of the electric vehicle is here. And it’s now available with two wheels. You need look no further than Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where Harley-Davidson unveiled the LiveWire, its first electric motorcycle.
Harley drives for new riders
For further validation of the trend, step over to the docks in San Francisco, where an Italian high-tech firm is showing off its latest creation, a 240 km/hr (150 mph) superbike appropriately name Ego that’s also electric.
These are just two high-profile examples, which have yet to arrive on the market (Harley-Davidson is just testing its electric concept on the public while the Energica Motor Company is taking orders for the Ego for delivery in 2015). Three current companies are actively marketing electric bikes – Brammo of Oregon and Zero Motorcycles and Mission Motorcycles of California. Their bikes have attracted a small but devoted following, albeit at a lower end of the market than either of these two newcomers.
The two newbies are taking decidedly different approaches, both building on what they see as their core competencies and both targeting a very specific segment of the market.
Energica Fields a True Italian Superbike
The Energica folks enter the arena with a clear goal – they want to deliver the “Tesla of motorcycles” based on some of the technology they have developed for aerospace and motorsports. Headquartered in Modena, Italy
Italian style and speed-now in electric mode
(home to more than a few supercars), Energica and its parent organization, the CRP Group have built a business supplying parts to Formula 1 racers among others. The company’s expertise in 3D printing was used to build the prototypes of the Ego and will be employed to create some of the limited edition versions that will be the first produced. It will feature printed Windform materials with F1 Zircotec ceramic and metallic coatings. Rounded out the bike is a carbon fiber fairing, 100 KW oil-cooled permanent magnet AC motor, Öhlins front
Super brakes are needed to stop a superbike
fork and rear mono shock absorber, Brembo brakes with driver-adjustable regeneration and Bosch ABS as well as forged aluminum wheels.
The Ego45 Limited Edition (for 45 units total production) is stunning and features what the company calls a “strong whistle” noise to ensure that should you hit triple digits you have a sound sensation to go along with the wind whistling past your helmet. Positioned as a superbike, the Ego has a price tag that’s appropriate. It starts at $34,000 and can double with custom features in the limited edition models.
Sales Expected To Grow
Livia Cevolini, CRP COO and granddaughter of the company’s founder, told Clean Fleet Report that the company expected to start deliveries next year and hoped to hit sales of 500 per year worldwide, then more than doubling as a second model is added. She said she also expects major volume manufacturers like Honda to enter the electric motorcycle market as it
Carrying on a family tradition
The bike has a host of technology beyond its electric powertrain, including an integrated Bluetooth capability that Cevolini says will allow the rider to “talk to your bike” and download the path, torque and driving experience and share it on social networks. The bikes carries an 11.7 kWh lithium-ion battery that is capable of a 3 1/2-hour recharge on a Level II machine or a half-hour pump-up with a DC fast-charger.
Harley Takes a New Road
Harley-Davidson took a more deliberate approach to its electric bike. The 111-year-old company is famous for its crudely traditional, loud and large motorcycles. It unabashedly embraces the “old white guys” that make up its core customers. As the company struggles with declining market share and an aging customer base, it has turned to a project known as Rushmore to find new products and get them to market quickly. The initiative produced the LiveWire, which tries to take the Harley DNA and infuse it into an electric motorcycle.
LiveWire is a bit more sedate than the Energica bike. Its top speed is less than 100 mph and it’s a bit slower than the Ego 0-60 (the Italian bike claims under three seconds), but it does have an undeniable Harley-Davidson
Harley makes an electric move
presence. With red highlights on a sinister black overall frame, the electric motorcycle looks like it should go like hell, even if all you hear at speed is a whine.
Harley is taking the LiveWire around to dealers and customers to get first-hand input before committing to production. The bike’s marketing boss, Mark-Hans Richer told TIME Magazine: “If it’s green, it’s badass green. It has character.” Pricing for the LiveWire when it gets to market is expected to be quite a bit less than the Energica bikes, though still a premium of 10 to 20 percent compared to Harley’s regular bikes, probably well above $20,000.
With a range of about 100 miles, it’s unlikely LiveWire will fit the open-road ambitions of some Harley riders. But the company hopes to attract a whole new group of younger, more urban-oriented buyers once the bike hits the market.
Two Goes the Way of Four
It looks like the motorcycle world is following the car market toward electrification. There have been e-bikes for some time, but most of them are fully utilitarian and nowhere near the level of sophistication (and cost) that these electric motorcycles have. Some small companies have led the way and it now appears that some high-end and big name players are getting into the game. The analogy to Tesla and Chevy with its Volt is apt, so we’ll just have to see what kind of shift the two-wheel market will take.
Capable of triple digit speeds
It’s Italian so fashion is included