As the world’s largest luxury car maker, BMW is well positioned to start offering its customers premium electric cars. That’s why BMW created the “i” brand, even going so far as to try and sell the i3 and i8 EV’s through digital dealerships online. But nobody really expects Beemer to try and break into the scooter market, which is why I am scratching my head at the news that BMW’s C Evolution electric scooter has been spotted on the road for testing.
Are the Germans serious?
A Sporty Scooter With BMW Breeding
That’s a silly question; ze Germans are always serious. When BMW showed off the C Evolution, which is being designed and built by Beemer’s two-wheeled Motorrad division, I certainly wasn’t expecting it to go beyond the concept stage. While BMW motorcycles have a devoted following, scooters attract a different breed of rider (see: Jo Borras). Scooters are less Yuppie, more Hipster. But if anybody can make a high-performance, premium-priced scooter work, it is BMW.
Back to the topic at hand, last week BMW put 5 fully-function C Evolution scooters out for a multi-week road test that ends August 12th. The thing about any BMW is that it has to be fun, and on paper the C Evolution seems par for course thanks to an 11 kW/15 horsepower electric motor providing power. With a top speed of about 75 mph and acceleration comparable to a 600cc scooter, the C Evolution still manages to eek out 62 miles per charge.
But Would Americans Buy It?
Like I said, it all looks great on paper. But are people really going to go for a BMW scooter? It might find fans in its native Germany, and other eco-conscious European countries, where BMW scooters already have a decent following. Here in America however, BMW owners are just as often motivated by the performance of the Ultimate Driving Machine as they are by the image of success and affluence it projects. That said, BMW hasn’t announced if, when, or where this electric scooter might go on sale, so all bets are off.
In other words, I don’t see too many business types falling over themselves to hop onto a BMW scooter, especially one that would require a motorcycle license to operate. Which brings me to my last point…when is BMW going to get into the electric motorcycle game?