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Daily media information 🤯😤😝 There’s no other scooter quite like it (yet): BMW introduces the CE 04

There’s no other scooter quite like it (yet): BMW introduces the CE 04

It’s lean, quick and runs solely on batteries. This revolutionary vehicle is priced from $20,350, but you won’t have to pay for petrol.

Tony DavisMotoring writer

I’ve made the point before that a scooter can be the most premium transport of all, allowing you and your passenger to breeze past gridlocked cars and then ease your way into a parking spot right out the front of the theatre or restaurant.

Sometimes when you come out it’s pouring, but hey, you can’t have everything.

The BMW CE 04 electric scooter more than holds its own in traffic, going from 0-50 km/h in 2.6 seconds. 

For those of us who hold a soft spot for scooters, despite the weather, there’s a whole new game in town, and it presages a revolution. It’s the BMW CE 04, the first big scooter on this market to run solely on batteries. (It should be noted, though, that Australian company FONZ is doing interesting things with smaller electric scooters, and Harley-Davidson has launched its big Livewire motorcycle – at $50,000-plus).

The idea has been in the works at BMW for some time, with “concepts” shown and a small production run of a model called C-Evolution to test the system (that was not sold here). Now we have the CE 04, looking like a prop from a sci-fi movie, and with enough get-up-and-go to make it great fun, as well as quiet and clean-running.

It’s long and heavy at 231 kg, but remains stable and surprisingly nimble. 

As for the name, C is for the segment, E is for electricity and 4 suggests equivalency with a 400 cc model. It’s very pricey for a scooter (from $20,350), which is to say, roughly double that of the 400 cc petrol equivalent. But most tech forerunners come with a high price, and the compensation here comes with the dramatic and guilt-free surge forward that comes with every twist of the throttle.

Practical features include keyless start, a parking brake that goes on when you flick out the side-stand, and a big display screen.

The range between charges is only about 110-120 kilometres in the real world, but for urban commuting, at least, that’s enough. For us, it was just a matter of charging it on a conventional power point for a few hours every so often.

The CE 04 will go from 0-50 km/h in 2.6 seconds, so scurrying away from the lights and merging with city traffic is never a problem. Top speed is 120 km/h.

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The CE 04 is narrow, which is good for lane splitting, but it’s also long (2285 mm) and heavy (231 kg). Fortunately, the weight is down low, so it is stable and surprisingly nimble. There are four different rider modes (eco, rain, road and dynamic), each gives a different throttle response and level of regenerative braking.

Traction control and antilock braking (with twin discs up front) are standard, and are lean sensitive in dynamic mode. One bugbear is that the CE 04 – the one that we had at least – can make a fairly unappealing whine during regenerative braking.

There’s even room to stow a face helmet – though nothing else in this compartment. 

There are lots of practical features, as you’d expect from this maker. There’s keyless start, a parking brake that goes on when you flick out the side-stand, and a big clear screen displaying all the necessary information, including navigation.

The motor is liquid cooled, the 8.9 kWh main battery is air-cooled. A conventional 12-volt battery powers the onboard systems (dash, all-LED lighting system etc). A simple reverse mode is fitted: just hold the R button and twist the throttle. However, you must release the throttle before the R button. Otherwise, you’ll find yourself going forward, and quickly. I was a little dubious of reverse but found it useful whenever it was necessary to back this heavy bike up a slight incline.

A trapdoor on the side reveals an under-seat cavity that will fit a large full face helmet (just one though, and it’s a tight fit). A storage area under the handlebars can take a phone and a few nick-nacks. Our bike had an optional soft panier fitted to one side, which increased the cargo capacity. It also had a small windscreen that didn’t do a lot. A larger one is optional.

BMW promises more e-scooters (the rumour is an 02 and 06 bracketing the 04), and says it will extend its two-wheeler electric drivetrains beyond “urban mobility”. Sounds good to me.

BMW CE 04

  • Price | $20,350 (excluding on-road costs); $21,420 as tested
  • Engine | Single electric motor with 8.9 kWh battery pack
  • Power/torque | 31 kW/62 Nm
  • Consumption | 7.7 kWh/100 km (WMTC standard)
  • Range | 130 km (WMTC standard)
  • C0₂ | Zero local emissions

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Tony DavisMotoring writerTony Davis writes on lifestyle specialising in cars. Email Tony at [email protected]

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