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BMW Motorrad had promised it, and with a punctuality more British than German we attended the presentation of the BMW CE-04.
BMW's new electric scooter replaces the previous C-Evolution with a more citizen approach and less maxiscooter, but with a remarkable technological evolution and a leap forward in terms of design with much to tell.
The BMW CE-04 reinvents the BMW electric scooter
After a few teasers announcing his arrival, the BMW CE-04 is here with a groundbreaking bet. The new German zero-emission scooter arrives being extremely faithful to the prototype that we already knew and before the blanket was unveiled, it was already announced to us by those responsible for the brand when we asked what we were going to see today: "Something very similar to the prototype, why not say the same ".
And it is that what we have seen today in Madrid has been one of the three unique preset units that exist of the BMW CE-04 in the world. Because Spain is (besides France and Germany), the only place where it has been possible to see in person for a reason that is anything but a coincidence.
Within our borders counting the global number of motorcycles sold, a 58% correspond to scooter. We are a market very of this type of motorcycles and in which the electric options are seeing a niche in which to expand. Two points must also be taken into account in this context: 94% of the electric motorcycles sold in Spain are scooters and only 1% are in the category of more than 11 kW.
That is why BMW Motorrad has decided to do a kind of downsizing of the C-Evolution and focus on a more urban concept, aimed at those early adpters who value design, innovation and technology above the average to open a market within electric options.
But let's go to the nougat because it is for what we have moved to the center of Madrid this morning. The BMW CE-04 responds to this approach from its own name and has a new designation with the C corresponding to the BMW scooter range, the E that identifies it as electric and the 04 that refers to the mid-range.
Aesthetically when lifting the sheet we have seen precisely what could well be a prototype. We did think that BMW was going to risk with the design of the CE-04, but not so much as to launch a model almost traced to the exhibition model. It is a scooter with a clear avant-garde inspiration that takes elements from the world of modern architecture.
So we have a relatively conventional but much sharper front than the rest of the brand's scooter, with a notable drop to the nose and a vee-shaped headlight. All lighting is LED and there is no headlight at the rear; the position and brake lights are integrated into the indicator lights of the indicators.
Where there is innovation is in details such as the very concise orange tinted screen that identifies all the electric versions of the model, or some aerodynamic covers for brake discs and calipers.
Going to the rear, the main piece that catches our attention is a new cantilever seat suspended above the scooter. It is a completely flat unique piece, although the unit that we had in front equipped one of the seats with relief for the rear.
This new type of seat obliges in a way to the new configuration of the cargo space. Now we have a 20-liter compartment with side opening on the right and that is opened by means of a hidden button. Inside it fits a full face helmet or two jet, or a jet and the charging cable if we want to carry it.
One of the points that BMW highlights is that this system allows it to open without getting off the bike, but at the same time due to the pointed shape of the cover, it hits our right leg if we want to do this. You have to make a strange gesture to let the lid go down. All to maintain a clean design, not cut the cap and keep the front peak fixed.
At the rear, minimalism shines, of course, with the end of that longboard-style seat, the lights integrated into the license plate holder and the limelight falling on a decorated lenticular rear rim (the front is semi-lenticular). The swingarm pokes out on the right side, exposing the final toothed belt drive.
At the level of practicality, the lockable left side glove box and USB-C charging socket (on the right side is the connector for charging) and a fully digital 10.25-inch dashboard like the one that debuted the new BMW R 1250 RT.
It also has a keyless system as standard, reverse gear, driving modes (Eco, Rain and Road as standard; Dynamic as an option) and optionally it can have heated grips, Headlight Pro adaptive lighting or a higher screen among other elements.
The overall design convinces, has a punch and mixes the clean design of flat elements with overlapping material layers on both the front baffles and the volumes at the rear. We liked.
Ergonomically, it seemed correct to us, with a comfortable driving position, the seat is not as comfortable as that of a conventional scooter but it does not seem particularly uncomfortable and there is a lot of room for the feet. The only thing that we would improve from the outset would be the aerodynamic protection but we understand that its initial objective is a particularly urban audience.
Two power options: 11 and 15 kW
Moving on to the mechanical section, we have a configuration that shares the technology of other brand launches in the automotive sector. What's more, the newly introduced new BMW iX3, BMW i4 and electric MINI have been jointly launched.
We will have two options at a mechanical level: on the one hand, the CE-04 is offered limited to 11 kW (15 hp) nominal power, 23 kW peak power (31 hp) and 62 Nm of torque to be able to drive with the A1 license or the B card with three years of experience. In this case, the mechanics are associated with a 6.2 kWh battery for an estimated range of 100 km.
The most performing variant offers 15 kW (20 hp) rated power with peaks of 31 kW (42 hp) and the same 62 Nm of torque associated with a 8.9 kWh battery with which it can travel a maximum of 130 km. Acceleration is 2.5 seconds to 50 km / h from standstill for this version and 0.1 seconds more for the 11 kW. The weight is 230 kg.
In both cases the configuration is the same, with battery cells identical to those used in their electric cars with a better energy density. Battery packs are placed in the belly of the scooter to bring the center of gravity closer to the ground and the engine is located at the rear, on the axis of the swingarm.
They are equipped with a liquid cooling system for both the batteries and the motor and the battery packs will have a five year warranty and a guaranteed capacity greater than 80%.
Regarding recharging, it should be noted that it is the first scooter on the market to use sucko-mennekes connectors, i.e. type 2 chargers which are the standard for recharging electric cars in Europe, making life easier for those who have a wallbox installed at home or access to one.
The BMW CE-04 has an on-board charger with which it can carry out full recharges at 2.3 kW in 4:20 or 3:20 depending on the capacity of the batteries. It also optionally accepts fast recharges up to 6, 9 kW with which the recharge time is shortened to 1:40 or 1:10.
And finally we must talk about the price. The BMW CE-04 had a very clear objective and it was to become a more accessible product than the C-Evolution, that is why its price remains at 12,050 euros for both versions. A little casual price because it stays below the 10,000 euros barrier without taxes, which makes it suitable to benefit from the MOVES Plan and benefit from up to 1,100 euros in aid.
Now we just need to try it but for that we will still have to wait. It will not be until the first part of 2022 when the BMW CE-04 reaches the market, but orders will be opened shortly as confirmed by the brand.