650 GTC and 600 Sport
The aspect of individual mobility concepts and their requirements have undergone massive changes no doubt. Conurbations have gained immense attentions. Moreover, sustainability has great sway over individual mobility. Sharp rise in traffic flow, stiff rise in energy and fuel price besides new stringent norms to curb CO2 menace emitting out of vehicles in urban areas pose a great challenge to the future automotive industry.
The BMW Group as a responsible automobile entity has recognised the above mentioned challenges and has been pursuing executing development process to address the mobility challenges with a futuristic viewpoint. Being an integral arm of the BMW Group, BMW Motorrad deserves special praise for its comprehensive planning while addressing issues of individual single-track mobility. Developing futuristic solutions for automobile industry has become the niche of BMW Motorrad. Expansion of its business activities with the addition of the facet “Urban Mobility” produced two serial production vehicles in 2011 - the maxi scooters C 600 Sport and C 650 GT.
On the heels of BMW Group's sustainability strategy, BMW Motorrad aims at comprehensively toeing the lines of electromobility at this early stage, with concentrated focus on the urban environment. BMW i is one of its grand offerings that run on advanced electric concept while minimising emission hazards. This electric car truly reflects BMW Motorrad's accelerated development in line of visionary vehicle concepts and mobility services.
Thrust for advanced technology will push BMW Motorrad to launch an appropriate premium product in the near future. Take the example of the latest wonder from its kitty, concept two-wheeler E-Scooter. It was displayed at the BMW Motorrad Innovation Day last year in its first development stage. BMW’s foray into futuristic electrically powered scooter has a great significance. Generally such two-wheelers come with several limitations and they are appropriate only for inner-city commuting. However this concept BMW E-Scooter simply scores over its counterparts powered by extended capability. It is to be noted that already the second leg of the development cycle has been started to roll and put in the premiere phase at the IAA in Frankfurt: the design study of an e-scooter made by BMW Motorrad - BMW Concept E. This highlights the aesthetic appeal of an electrically powered scooter mixed with superior futuristic technology.
The third development stage has been towing the “C evolution”:
As the e-scooter took its shape as a future-oriented two-wheeler for covering long distances and navigating between the urban pocket and the city centre, automatically there were few specific considerations for its development: to ensure performance figures at par with that of a maxi scooter powered by a combustion engine and a the capability to cover a long distance in realistic urban road conditions.
Fit for Urban Roads
With the launch of five fully advanced “C evolution” scooters, BMW Motorrad has enhanced its reach towards the direction of futuristic e-mobility with single-track urban-centric vehicles while leveraging tried and tested expertise. BMW Motorrad has also been fine tuning its marketing initiative in European market through several customer-engagement events that has increased the promotional punch of these single-track electrically powered tiny vehicles. These scooters have also successfully undergone ideal test platforms as they have been operated in real conditions under appropriate city environment. This pilot phase has also explored several options such as the infrastructure, including setting up a network of e-mobility providers with an eye on vehicle rental companies and car-sharing firms.
Key highlights of e-mobility and the scooters:
- Innovative electric drive via drivetrain swing arm with liquid-cooled alternator, tooth belt and planetary gear.
- 11 kW continuous output (homologation according to ECE R85) and 35 kW peak output.
- 120 km/h max. speed.
- High range of up to 100 kilometres due to large battery capacity.
- High-voltage battery with high capacity (8 kWh) and innovative air cooling.
- Intelligent recuperation in coasting mode and when braking.
- Short charging times.
- Synergy effects with BMW automobiles and electrical safety to car standards.
- Hybrid chassis with agile handling due to low centre of gravity.
- Powerful braking system with ABS.
- Lightweight Metzeler Feelgreen tyres.
- Multifunctional TFT instrument cluster and LED daytime running light.
- Innovative colour concept and design.
Technology and Design
The high-calibre electro-performance level of the futuristic scooters delivers at the level of a combustion engine. With 11 kW uninterrupted power output (homologation according to ECE R85 to determine motor outputs) with optimum 35 kW peak output and a top speed of 120 km/h, the “C evolution” includes a powerful motor that ensures unadulterated enjoyment to the riders. The scooter deftly navigates through all types of motorways and ensures easy overtaking - even with a passenger. That is not all; what sets it apart from its counterparts is its ability to effortlessly embark upon hill starts on steep slopes even with a pillion rider. While considering the acceleration factor (0 to 60 km/h), it easily outreaches current maxi scooters in the range of 600 cc or above.
Judging from the angle of conventional combustion engines, the electric drive of the “C evolution” also provides excellent advantages while running at low speeds. Equipped with the intricate power electronics settings, the alternator provides an instant, spontaneous response. It also ensures prompt torque build-up that has comprehensively scored a point over similar combustion engines that are notorious for delay in this aspect owing to clutch engaging and disengaging.
High range thanks to enhanced battery capacity:
At 8 kWh, the storage capacity of the scooter battery is extremely powerful and is capable to touch a range of maximum 100 kilometres. It is a blessing for the urban environment as well since this notable feature practically ensures zero-emissions on city roads. In other aspects too, BMW Motorrad has establishes its quality mark by drawing on synergy effects with BMW automobiles. “C evolution’s” usage of the same lithium-ion storage modules like that of the BMW i3 is a notable instance in this regard. Dual features of quality and service life of the storage modules have been given special attention during development phase to guarantee the coverage of long range even after considerable elapse of service life and in bitter cold weather.
Superior mechanism ensures engine temperate mood:
Maintaining cool of the heated engine remains a key consideration while conceptualising a vehicle. Naturally ensuring optimum cooling of the high-voltage battery was a key target for “C evolution” project. There was a tricky situation as on one hand there was the need to avoid excessively low temperatures that automatically multiplies interior resistance of the cells thus reducing power and on the other, the temperatures cannot be give given a free hand to shoot up since this would badly affect the cell lifetime.
Air cooling mechanism has been incorporated into “C evolution” to save both space and weight. The heat of the high-voltage battery is dissipated by means of an aerodynamically optimised cooling air shaft at the centre of the battery casing through which there is a constant flow of air. To ensure temperate condition, the battery base includes longitudinally arranged cooling ribs. However, the battery casing covered with die-cast aluminium not only protects the cells with their special architecture but also the houses the entire electronics unit for monitoring the cells. Additionally it also provides service as a load-bearing chassis element.
The power electronics for the electric drive is well placed right behind the battery casing. This set up also provides dual roles: ensuring control of the alternator within a range of 100-150 volts and promptly reacting to rider commands, by precisely identifying the throttle grip position. The system also deciphers data sent from the brake system and calculates whether energy should be recuperated and how much relevant torque should be applied to the rear wheel.
Innovative electric drive via drivetrain swing arm with liquid-cooled alternator, tooth belt and planetary gear:
The “C evolution” is powered by a drivetrain swing arm. The alternator is placed behind the battery casing and attached with the sophisticated arm. The intelligent placement of the alternator output shaft and the swing arm axle minimises the moment of inertia around the swing arm centre of rotation. The proximity also ensures maximum suspension/damper settings and a sensitive response.
The secondary drive is functioned with the help of a tooth belt from the alternator to the rear belt pulley on the output shaft. From that point, power is shifted to the rear wheel through a planetary gear. The cumulative gear reduction is 1:8.4, while the optimum rotational speed of the alternator touches 10,000 rpm. The alternator and power electronics are liquid-cooled.
Intelligent recuperation in coasting mode and when braking:
To prove the worthiness of the advanced scooters, BMW Motorrad has already conducted stringent road tests to produce a recuperation mode quite uncommon in single-track vehicles and absolutely transparent and drive mobility for the rider. The “C evolution” is vastly similar in aspects of navigation like that of a scooter equipped with combustion engine. There is no need to manually initiate energy recuperation as the vehicle applies this step as per requirement. For instance, energy recuperation takes effect when the throttle grip is closed and the generator function of the alternator produces drag torque depending on the recuperation level. The drag torque reflects the familiar “engine brake”, which occurs at the point of replacing the accelerator with a combustion engine.
Recuperation is also ensured while braking, that converts kinetic energy to electrical version to ensure proper charging of the battery. Here, a mechanism of sensors has been utilised to tap into the wheel brake pressure. When the power electronics identifies the pressing of brake, the alternator generates drag torque to ensure proper brake manoeuvre and recuperating energy. Effectively retrieving energy during coasting or braking, the two-wheeler range can be increased by 10-20 per cent, depending on riding style.
Easy charging facilities and short charge time:
Charging Socket and Easy Charging Option
The scooter battery can be charged with the integrated charging device. Apart from charging station mechanism, conventional household electric sockets can also be used for this purpose. When the scooter runs on minimum charge, it takes approximate three hours to completely charge up the battery. The unique charging facility is simply unprecedented for an electrically powered two-wheel vehicle, which is placed just behind a cover in the footwell at front left. The charge cable is kept in a storage compartment on the right-hand side of the footwell. It is attached with a mains plug to fit the respective national system.
Synergy effects with BMW automobiles and technical safety standards:
As an integral part of the BMW Group, BMW Motorrad ranks among the few privileged two-wheeler manufacturers to efficiently leverage in-house experience and expertise to impart value addition to electrically powered vehicles. The synergies that have been used in the “C evolution” project cover utilisation of the same technical apparatus besides applying high-voltage technology and associated safety mechanism ranging from cables, plugs, battery electronics and safety shutdown. This also includes the insulation monitoring device, the high-voltage indicator, the high-voltage distributor and the DC-DC converter to translate high voltage to low voltage for running the 12-volt vehicle power system and the control units.
Prevalent high-voltage safety standards (> 60 volt direct current) and functional reliability have been ensured in the electrically powered two-wheeler vehicle. Toeing the lines of ‘ISO 26262’ mark while developing “C evolution” is definitely a hallmark of this wonder scooter as electrically powered two-wheel vehicles hardly follow it.
Hybrid chassis with agile handling due to low centre of gravity:
Conventional maxi scooters with combustion engine generally come with a main frame. But this is not the case with the “C evolution”. The chassis of this scooter imbibes best possible directional stability to enable the rider to safely navigate both at high motorway speeds while deftly operating the vehicle through congested urban traffic. The project engineers have also effectively utilised full advantage extended by an extremely low centre of gravity ensured by the low position of the battery. To complement this placement set up, the chassis design has been conceptualised on a torsionally stiff hybrid composite structure consisted of a load-bearing, battery case. This torsionally rigid battery case is moulded out of cast light alloy with integrated mounting for the single-sided drivetrain swing arm. Steering head support and rear frame in steel tubing are attached with it. The weight of the scooter is suitable for urban driving coupled with superb agility and extremely easy navigation.
Wheel control as well as suspension and damping have been taken care of at the front by an upside-down fork with a generous fixed fork tube diameter of 40 mm. The rear wheel suspension consists of a single-sided drivetrain swing arm. At the rear, suspension and damping are controlled by a spring strut attached on the left-hand side, directly controlled and adjustable at the spring mount. The spring travel is 115 millimetres at front and rear, thus ensuring ultimate comfort.
Lightweight tyres to reduce rolling resistance:
The “C evolution” comes with two different wheel sizes at from and rear. While the front 5-spoke light alloy die-cast wheel size is 3.5 x 15 inches, the rear one is 4.5 x 15 inches. To ensure optimum reduction of rolling friction and in turn reaping the maximum benefits out of the stored electrical energy the “C evolution” comes with lightweight tyres. The tyres are of special Metzeler Feelgreen varieties that are marked by superior rolling resistance (120/70 R15 at front and 160/60 R15 at rear). Triple considerations: environmental compatibility, high efficiency based on minimising rolling resistance, and ensuring a higher mileage are attached with the development with this tyre type. Rolling resistance was streamlined by 25 per cent in comparison with the Metzeler Feelfree varieties. Specially created tread grooves have been incorporated for optimised rolling resistance.
Powerful braking system with ABS:
The “C evolution” comes with a twin disc brake system with 270-millimetre diameter at the front. Attached 2-piston floating calipers stick to powerful, safe deceleration. There is a single disc system at the rear with a diameter of 270 millimetres and 2-piston floating calipers. The brake lines are covered with steel to ensure a stable pressure point and optimum controllability.
BMW Motorrad ABS offers a high degree of active safety. The tiny 700 gram Bosch 9M dual channel ABS operates separate regulation for the two brake cycles for front and rear brakes. The ABS software has also been deftly conceptualised to organise the recuperation process at par with the specific requirements of the “C evolution”. Similarly like that of BMW Motorrad maxi scooters C 600 Sport and C 650 GT, the hold brake automatically comes into effect whenever the side stand is folded out.
Multifunctional instrument cluster:
In the aesthetic appeal too the “C evolution” is also quite superb. Its instrument panel includes a large, easily readable TFT display that has close proximity with that of the BMW i3. It has an essential speed display besides putting up a slew of other necessary information. The display cluster includes battery charge state (SOC = State of Charge) and energy balance. The energy balance display has been conceptualised through a progress bar that precisely underlines whether energy conversion is underway into forward propulsion or being recuperated.
Multifunctiona Instrument Cluster
Other display facilities include warning lamps to indicate a potential insulation error or power limitation in case of overload. The front lighting mechanism includes headlamps with high and low beam. Moreover, the “C evolution” carries a centrally located daytime running light. The rear light is based on power-saving LED technology.
Innovative colour combination and design concept:
As a key member of the BMW Motorrad family “C evolution” is marked by an awe-inspiring, catchy design that has enhanced the appeal of the new drive technology. Further continuing the BMW motorcycles’ design trend, this maxi scooter also comes with a split face that flows across the upper trim section to wear a dynamic front view.
BMW Motorrad’s innovative style has been well reflected in the design concept of the twin-tipped spoiler in the front trim and in a boomerang-shaped, aerodynamically formed floating panel in the side trim. The sporty rear comes with a helmet compartment that harps upon proactive character of the “C evolution”.
The collective outcome of the “Light white” and the highlight shade “Electric green” truly promote the futuristic urban vehicle's specific properties: optimum environment-friendly nature, superb dynamic performance and easy handling. Moreover, illuminating “e” inscription on the two battery side trims and motor unit boldly announces the technical character of this electrically powered scooter.
Scooters for Future World
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