BMW's scooter-with-a-roof back - with battery power

By Time of article published Jun 9, 2010

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This is what a safe, environment-friendly and highly practical two-wheeler for city traffic could look like in the future - at least according to BMW. BMW's C1-E concept vehicle will be shown in the UK for the first time at this weekend's National BikeSafe Motorcycle Show.

The idea behind the BMW C1-E is to maximise active and passive safety with a roll-over bar spanning the rider, energy-absorbing features at the front and rider harness, as per the original 2001 125cc C1 - still the only motorised two-wheeler exempt from helmet laws in most European countries.

Why was it ever discontinued? BMW would have us believe the C1 didn't sell but Amid stats show it was South Africa's top selling scooter for several months before its untimely demise.

The difference between the C1 and the C1-E concept is its Vectrix electric motor, powered by a lithium-ion battery, "providing enough power to master inner-city traffic with ease," says BMW.

It claims the C1-E can accelerate from 0-80km/h in eight seconds, with a top speed of 100km/h. However, BMW adds, "alternatively the vehicle can also be equipped with a low-emissions internal combustion engine."

Is that a tacit admission that the C1-E has range problems, like most battery vehicles?

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