Jul 132011

BMW has flagged a possible intention to get into the electric motorcycle market with the airing of its E-Scooter concept bike.

Designed from the ground up as an electric bike, the E-scooter uses its battery casing as a primary component of the frame. With a regenerative braking system built in and a full charge from a conventional power socket taking less than three hours, the E-Scooter is capable of over 100 km (62 miles) per charge, and easily makes freeway speeds.

Don’t be put off buy the odd paint job on this concept bike – that’s the standard camouflage BMW and many other manufacturers use to conceal the final body shape of concept and pre-production test vehicles.

Under the skin, the E-Scooter looks to be a reasonably well designed but unremarkable electric maxi-scooter reminiscent of the Vectrix that more or less pioneered decent-sized electric motorcycles in the western world. It’s worth noting that in certain parts of Asia, electrics are almost as common as petrol scooters, but they travel at lower speeds and have shorter ranges than would be appealing to the U.S. market.

So what’s changed since the Vectrix? Not an awful lot, on the surface of it. Vectrix chose a hub-mounted drive motor, BMW uses a chain drive and a motor that’s built into the battery pack. Presumably BMW will be using Lithium based batteries as opposed to the Vectrix’s old-school NiMH powerpack.

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