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BMW previews electric scooter with Evolution C concept

by Ronan Glon

The Evolution C can keep up with a gasoline-powered scooter that has a 600cc engine.

BMW's motorcycle division has just released the first images of a concept called Evolution C that previews an upcoming all-electric scooter. It will make its public debut at the Paris Motor Show next September.

Billed as a near-production concept, the Evolution C borrows a fair amount of design cues from the Concept e that was presented at the 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show.

The Evolution C's motor gets electricity from the same lithium-ion storage modules that are found in BMW's upcoming i3 electric car. The modules give the two-wheeler a maximum range of about 62 miles but the regenerative braking system can improve that figure by approximately 10 percent.

Precise performance figures were not released but BMW claims that the Evolution C can keep up with a gasoline-powered scooter that is powered by a 600cc engine. Its top speed is electronically limited to 75 mph, meaning that it can comfortably go on the freeway in most European countries. This will undoubtedly give it an edge over four-wheeled city-dwelling EVs such as the Renault Twizy.

For increased safety the Evolution C is fitted with ABS brakes, a feature that is standard on all of the company's two-wheelers.

BMW has replaced the instrument cluster with a small screen that is mounted on the top of the handlebar. It displays vital information such as the scooter's speed, how much juice is left in the battery pack or how long a full charge is expected to take.

As part of a pilot program BMW has just deployed five Evolution Cs in the city of London, England. Engineers will apply the finishing touches on the scooter with the help of the data gathered from the pilot program and BMW expects to launch the production variant of it before the end of 2013.

At the time of writing BMW has not indicated if the production variant of the Evolution C will be offered in the United States.