“2018 BMW C evolution Scooter”
A Maxi-Scooter with Non-liquid Juice
Unquestionably, the majority of testosterone loaded male riders shudder at the prospect of being seen aboard a scooter of any size, shape or form. Trust me, there’s nothing wimpy, or to be ashamed of, about riding the BMW C evolution scoot.
The fuel economy delivered by the BMW C evolution can’t be beat because there is no fuel – it’s electric. Okay, there’s no big V-twin “potato, potato, potato exhaust note, but your neighbors won’t be annoyed when you turn it on to take off on an early Sunday morning ride. There’s no oil to change, no coolant to worry about and there’s no clutch or foot brake to concern yourself with either – both front and rear brakes are operated by handlebar-mounted hand levers.
Come to think of it, there’s also no transmission per se, the power delivery is direct drive by a toothed belt and ring gear transmission to the rear axle. There are four different ride modes, and the selection that may be selected on the fly. The modes are: Eco Pro, Road, Sail and Dynamic. EcoPro is pretty self explanatory, in that it limits acceleration. Road is for normal riding conditions. Sail is for coasting disengages the electric motor when releasing the throttle, with essentially no regen, but there’s also almost no drag. Dynamic is just that – acceleration is enhanced, as is regen – roll off the accelerator and a braking effect takes place.
Propulsion for the BMW C Evolution comes from a Drivetrain single-sided swingarm with liquid cooled alternator; permanently excited synchronous motor with surface magnets and internal rotor, powered by a Traction Battery (94 Ah) with High-Voltage Technology, Central Cooling Air Duct and 3 Battery Modules with 12 Lithium-Ion Battery Cells per Module. There’s also a Reverse Assist feature. The battery is 12.7 kWh, driving the rear wheel through a shaft mounted to the scooter’s single rear swing arm. Brake horsepower generated is 48 @ 4,650 rpm (35kW), and the torque rating is 53 pound feet @ 4,650 rpm. 0-60 mph clicks off in 6.2 seconds. Parts of the electronic control system were also adopted from the i3 and i8. This covers voltage, current and temperature and ensures that the high voltage is securely activated and deactivated.
The stated range is 99 miles on a full charge, which will vary based on: the ride mode, terrain, speed, temperature and load weight. The charging rate is 3 kW with the integrated charging unit. An on-board charging socket type 1 is supplied with a country specific plug. Charging times are: 110V 12A = 9.2 hours for 100% – 7.5 hours for 80%; 220V 12A = 4.3 hours for 100% / 3.5 hours for 80%. Times are approximate and claimed. The C evolution is compatible with a Mode 3 charger cable, which is even faster and allows the use of public charging stations or wallboxes, providing access to 16 A current for faster charging.
Suspension componentry consists of 40 mm inverted telescopic forks with 4.7-inches of travel up front and a Single-sided swing arm with direct-link spring strut and spring pre-load with 7 manually adjustable settings and 4.5-inches of travel in the rear. Rolling stock is a Metzler Feelfree 160/60 R15 M/C 67H tire up front and a 120/70 R15 M/C tire for the rear. Both are mounted on Black 5-slotted spoke cast aluminum alloy wheels. Bringing the C evolution to a halt are Hydraulic power assisted 270 mm double discs with 2-piston floating calipers and ABS forward, and a Single 270 mm disc brake, with a 2-piston floating caliper and BMW Motorrad ABS aft.
All of this is attached to a Hybrid chassis with a die-cast aluminum, load-bearing battery casing and bolt-on tubular steering head carrier and rear frame assembly, with a low center of gravity based on the gas powered BMW C 650 GT.
The wheelbase is 63.4 inches, the overall length measures 86.2 inches, and the seat height is a comfortable 30.1 inches. Ground clearance is 4.5 inches and the scoot tips the scale at 606 pounds (curb weight).
Visually, the BMW C evolution is a futuristic looking affair that leads off looking like a sport bike when viewed head-on with its sleek Ionic silver metallic fairing and cat-eye headlights mounted in a gloss black housing. The high-positioned mirrors are flat black and fold inward conveniently for storage.
COMFORT AND CONVENIENCE
In profile you become instantly aware that this is not a motorcycle, but indeed a scooter, with its low cut-away step through. Seating is for two, with the passenger pillion portion which is set higher also serving as locking cover for a large illuminated storage compartment, suitable for a full face helmet, with tools in the lid seat. There are foot pegs and grab handles for the companion, while the rider gets floorboards that happen to be awkwardly angled for longer-legged individuals (of which I’m one). The front fender is also silver metallic, as is the seating platform. The tail assembly and rear fender are finished in flat black. A large, bright neon-like Electric Green panel appears in a mid position making the C evolution instantly recognizable. BMW roundelle logo badges appear on both fairing sides.
The IP features two compartments flanking the ignition switch. The left compartment contains the charge port, while the left compartment serves as a locking glove compartment. Ahead and above the handlebars is a multifunction TFT display screen with an on-board computer. Info displayed includes: a digital clock, multiple trip info, odometer, Graphic digital speedometer with power and charge level bar charts, temperature, range balance and percentage of charge remaining in both analog and digital readouts, and ride mode selected. Visibility is ideal even on bright sunlight.
Other features include a side kickstand with a parking brake actuator, a center stand, steering fork lock, a high windshield and a tool kit.
The BMW C evolution is a premium electric maxi-scooter that has been available in the European marketplace since 2014, but has only become available on our shores in recent months. Our test scoot’s base sticker was set at $13,995., which could have dealer prep and handling charges added that are variable per dealer.
Riding presents a superbly balanced feel at both low and higher speeds, but the optimal speed for the ultimate level of comfort is in the 60-70 mph realm. More is certainly possible, but less is more economical as far as electrical consumption is concerned and Hypermiling can actually be a fun exercise. Acceleration off the line is incredible and braking is positive. I tried all of the drive modes and settled on the Dynamic as the most enjoyable in all circumstances. Power is at the maximum with no restraints and the regenerative factor negates having to actually use the brakes, except for a full complete stop.
If you’re the manly sort who can get past the potential threat of emasculation by riding a scooter, or a female, give it a try, I ‘m sure that you’ll be pleasantly surprised…and pleased. It’s actually a lot of fun, and isn’t in the least gender or age specific. It has more power to offer than many motorcycles, is more comfortable and more economical to operate as well. Oh, and if the idea of an electric scooter doesn’t float your boat, the BMW C 650 GT is lighter, costs about $3,000 less and has about the same range. Electric cars continue to offer extended range with larger, more powerful and more efficient batteries, which ultimately weigh more. Scooters are limited in space and have restricted weight limitations, having to do more with less. It comes with a 5-year, 30,000-mile battery warranty.
This is not low cost transportation mind you, considering the initially high purchase price. The addition of an accessory plug-in outlet, an adjustable position passenger pillion, a revised footboard angle and a taller stock windshield (an optional touring windshield is available along with other convenience accessories) would perhaps make the price for palatable for potential consumers.
In the final analysis, motor scooters, especially the electric variety and particular, the BMW C evolution make good sense, are fun to ride and serve as sustainable transportation.
SPECIFICATIONS: 2018 BMW C Evolution Electric Scooter
Base Price: $13,995.
Price as Tested: $14,245. *Estimated – Dealer handling and prep costs may vary
Engine Type and Size: Drivetrain swingarm with liquid cooled alternator; permanently excited synchronous machine with surface magnets, internal rotor. Traction Battery with High-Voltage Technology, Central Cooling Air Duct, 3 Battery Modules with 12 Lithium-Ion Battery Cells per Module. With Reverse Assist
Horsepower (bhp): 48 @ 4,650 rpm (35kW)
Torque (ft./ lbs.): 53 @ 4,650 rpm
Transmission: Belt Drive
Drive Train: Drive train swing arm with toothed belt and ring gear transmission to the rear axle.
Suspension: Front – 40 mm inverted telescopic forks with 4.7-inches of travel.
Rear – Single-sided swing arm with direct-link spring strut and spring pre-load with 7 manually adjustable settings and 4.5-inches of travel.
Brakes: Front: Hydraulic power assisted 270 mm double discs with 2-piston floating calipers and ABS.
Rear: Single disc brake, 270 mm, 2-piston floating caliper and BMW Motorrad ABS.
Tires: Metzler Feelfree 160/60 R15 M/C 67H Front / 120/70 R15 M/C mounted on Black 5-slotted spoke cast aluminum alloy wheels.
Wheelbase: 63.4 inches
Length Overall: 86.2 inches
Rake: 24.1 degrees
Lean angle: Not listed
Trail: 3.7 inches
Curb Weight dry: 606 lbs.
Ground clearance 4.5 inches
Fuel Capacity: No Fuel fully electric – Range = 99 miles
Seat height: 30.1 inches
0 – 60 mph: 6.2 seconds – Top Speed = 80 mph (weight dependent)
Arv Voss is a Northern California based freelance motoring Journalist and member and past officer of several noted Automotive Journalist organizations who contributes regularly to a number of national and international media outlets. He reviews not only cars, trucks and SUVs, but motorcycles and unusual wheeled vehicles as well.