The folks at BMW Motorrad have been certainly going hard on electric two-wheeler development. Just under two months after the official launch of the production BMW CE 04 electric scooter, the team is back with a brand-new design. This time, the Concept CE 02 aims to win over the youngest motor vehicle operators with its charms. Let’s take a look.
The design brief, as stressed in BMW’s press materials, is “skateboard on two wheels.” Only, of course, it comes with electric power, is envisioned as a simple and stylish urban mobility vehicle, and so on. Above all, it’s meant to appeal to young riders who may be completely new to riding. After all, if you want riding to have a future, you need to grow ridership—the math is super simple here.
The other major design philosophy here seems to be a heightened sense of proportion. Now, those familiar with Japanese manga and anime artists’ love of drawing superdeformed versions of their creations will instantly recognize what they’re seeing here. Proportionately huge, solid disc wheels and fat tires implicitly seek to endear this design to your heart. Honestly, it’s working for us, but we fully acknowledge that every design is absolutely subjective.
The handlebars are placed up high—the BMW design presenter called them “ape hangers,” but they’re not quite so exaggerated as that. While there are most certainly cables to send your control inputs from the handlebars to the rest of the Concept CE 02, they’re cleverly managed out of sight in some ultra-fat, squared-off black plastic cladding that’s integrated into the handlebars. This exaggerated sense of proportion creates a dramatic backdrop for the teeny, tiny, minimalist digital display on the dash.
Concerned about carrying your stuff with you wherever you go? While the CE 02 is still just a concept scoot at this point, there’s a clever little hook system down where you’d normally find a floorboard. It’s apparently meant for your actual skateboard, which then functions as your floorboard.
Cool idea, but what if you’d rather be roller skating instead? Again, it’s a concept, so who knows what will make it through to the production version? Maybe the hook will be an available option rather than fitted as stock. There are also built-in elasticated straps to secure your backpack to the scoot in between the seat and the handlebars.
Now, if you’re wondering about those all-important performance numbers, BMW Motorrad has a few ballpark figures for us to consider here. Since it’s aimed at A1 license holders (who are riders 16 and older in most cases), max power should be about 11 kilowatts, which is just under 15 horsepower. Top speed should be about 90 kilometers per hour, or just over 55 mph. Range, likewise, will be around 90 kilometers on a single charge. Battery information, incidentally, was not provided with release of these concept photos and video.
Curb weight is estimated to be around 120 kilograms, or just about 264.5 pounds. Seat height will be around 730 mm, or a hair under 29 inches. In other words, good for even many shorter riders to manage. Again, as we keep saying, it is just a concept, and all of these numbers should not be considered hard and fast statements if and when the CE 02 goes into production.
Incidentally, that light weight and diminutive size also means that BMW sees this potentially being a good fit for people with camper vans or other RVs to use as a little runabout. Its utility in that regard will most likely depend on how quickly it charges, and also how well it works as a light-duty trail scoot. Still, it’s a cool idea.
Above everything else, BMW Motorrad wants to make its EVs more inclusive to a wider range of riders than have historically found a home with the BMW brand. They also briefly introduced some interesting riding gear concepts alongside this bike, using new technologies that allow them to print abrasion- and impact-resistant materials in any color and shape they choose, right onto the fabric. For urban riders who want a more casual look to their gear, but that still offers protection, it’s a very interesting idea indeed.
Clearly, if BMW brings the CE 02 to market, a production version will need to be closer in price to the G 310 R and GS than to the CE 04. Targeting younger, newer riders is an admirable goal, but if only approximately five of them can afford it, it won’t really do anyone any favors.