Fuel prices are raising on a fast pace, moving on a vehicle is becoming tougher every day. So people are now opting for the eco friendly and of course pocket friendly solutions. Automobile companies are also making vehicles that are environment friendly and do not require the costlier fuel. Many CNG and electric vehicles are already available in the market. Now BMW, the German automobile company has also joined the league of such companies. The company has recently unveiled its electric scooter in London. This all-electric scooter has been named as the BMW C evolution.
The C evolution comes with an innovative styling of the BMW family and an exciting, stimulating design along with a new drive technology. Like any other BMW motorcycle, the split face runs crosswise the upper trim section offering the scooter a distinguishing and lively front view. The typical design of the BMW Motorrad may also be seen in the twin-tipped spoiler in the front trim and in a boomerang-shaped, aerodynamically created floating panel on the side trim. There is a helmet compartment at the rear of the vehicle. The combination of the colors Light white as the base and the highlighted Electric green reflects the specific properties of the scooter like utmost ecological compatibility, supreme lively performance and easy handling. The illuminating ‘e’ mark on the two battery side trim elements and motor unit show the technical character scooter.
The scooter employs an electric motor and runs on 11 kW of continuous output with 35 kW at top. It was designed to offer acceleration as that of a 600cc scooter, without the CO2 emissions. So, it can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in 7 seconds. It offers a top speed of 75mph and a ride of around full 100 kilometers with a fully charged battery. An additional distance may be covered by using its regenerative braking system. The vehicle can be charged at a regular household socket or a charging station battery by means of an integrated charging device. It takes less than 3 hours to fully charge an empty battery. A J1772 charging port (similar to the sockets present in the electric cars) is located at the back of a cover in the footwell at front left. The charging cable has been kept in a storage compartment on the right side of the footwell. It has been fitted with a mains plug.
It has a large battery back; still liquid cooling is not required here. The high-voltage battery is cooled down by means of an aerodynamically optimized cooling air shaft. Air flows constantly through the air shaft placed at the centre of the battery casing. Cooling ribs have been longitudinally arranged on the battery base to ensure optimum heat dissolution. However, the battery casing in die-cast aluminium holds the cells with their special architecture and the entire electronics unit for scrutinizing the cells. This battery casing operates as a load-bearing chassis element as well. The C Evolution electric scooter is equipped with anti-lock brakes. This technology has been adopted from BMW’s widespread experience in making motorcycles. LED lights reduce the load on the battery. The speed and battery status is displayed on LCD screen. The rear drive wheel is supported by a single swim arm that is turned by a shaft.
The power settings of the scooter help the rider to get an instant response. In the usual combustion engines, generally there is a delay in torque build-up due to the engaging and disengaging of the clutch, but it is not the case with the C evolution. The storage capacity of the battery is awfully generous at 8 kWh. At 8kWh, it offers a range of up to 100 km. So, the rider may enjoy the practical zero-emissions riding experience in the big city and in urban areas as well. This electric scooter uses the same lithium-ion storage modules as present in the BMW i3. The quality and service life of the storage modules ensures that the range is conserved even after many years of service and in very cold climate.
The power electronics installed behind the battery casing controls the alternator within a range of 100 to 150 volts and also responds to the commands of the rider. It also processes information from the brake system and decides whether energy should be recovered or not. The amount of recuperation torque that should be applied to the rear wheel (when required) is also decided by the system. The “C evolution” scooter is equipped with a drivetrain swing arm. The alternator is placed behind the battery casing and incorporated in the swing arm. Due to the closeness of output shaft and the swing arm axle, the moment of inertia around the swing arm centre of rotation is minimized. It offers the finest suspension settings along with a sensitive response. The secondary drive is through a tooth belt from the alternator to the rear belt pulley on the output shaft. Now power is shifted to the rear wheel through a planetary gear. The total gear reduction is 1:8.4 whereas the highest rotational speed is 10,000 rpm.
A rider may ride the C evolution in exactly the same way as any other non electric scooter. The rider does not require to actively initiate energy convalescence as it is done automatically whenever possible. The drag torque produced by the scooter is like the common engine brake that takes effect while eliminating the accelerator with a usual combustion engine. Recuperation is also done during braking; kinetic energy is being converted into electrical energy in order to charge the battery. A sensor system is used to tap into the brake pressure on both the front and rear wheel brake. When brakes are applied by the rider, the power electronics system detects it and a drag torque is build up thereby supporting the brake manoeuvre and convalescing energy. Depending on riding style, the range of the scooter can be extended by 10 to 20 percent by regaining energy while coasting or braking.
Right now, the vehicle is near-production prototype of the original C evolution that will soon go for mass production. The manufacturing of this electric scooter will be a big step towards going for greener and eco friendly technology, especially when it comes from BMW. So, it may be seen as a good start by BMW for a greener environment. At the moment, there is no word from the company regarding the pricing and availability of this electric scooter. However, it may hit the road by 2014 and carry a price tag of around £9,500 to £10,000.
Specifications of BMW C evolution:
- Revolutionary color, concept and design
- Multifunctional TFT instrument cluster and LED display
- Innovative electric drive via drivetrain swing arm
- 11kW continuous output and 35kW peak output
- 120km/h maximum speed
- Full battery charging within 3 hours
- Powerful braking system
- High range of up to 100 kilometres
- High-voltage battery with high capacity (8kWh) and revolutionary air cooling
- Intelligent recuperation while coasting and braking
- Hybrid chassis with easy handling
Video of BMW C evolution from youtube: