E-scooters from BMW for the urban jungleSeptember 10, 2021
Not everyone – especially in their hometown – likes to pick up one of these public free-float e-scooters from the street. In that case, however, such a scooter should be able to be carried on public transport, and ideally also in your own car, otherwise the multimodality will not work. BMW is working on a marketable alternative for private customers that is suitable for this. As “Clever Commute”, the manufacturer brought the concept to the IAA Mobility in Munich at a very advanced stage.
The e-scooter concept should be easy to fold for taking with you in public transport or in a car and, thanks to the motor support, shouldn’t be strenuous when you carry it with you. Nevertheless, it should be able to move safely, relaxed and stable. It doesn’t just look like that. The example of the exhibition at the BMW stand showed how easy it is to fold the micromobile into different formats. The wheel size enables not only stable but also comfortable locomotion.
There are standardized dimensions across Europe for free transport on public transport. In order to achieve this, the rear wheel with the dropouts is swiveled through 180 degrees under the scooter via an axle that is perpendicular to the direction of travel. It reappears through an opening under the stand, which folds to the side. Then you turn the mudguard 180 degrees around its vertical axis so that it is again above the rear wheel. This shortens the wheelbase by a little more than one wheel diameter to a format that fits across a standard-width escalator step. So you don’t have to wait for the elevator every time – if the platform offers one at all.
Motor remains active
In this state, both wheels remain rotatable and the motor is active. On the handlebar, which remains in its driving position, the e-scooter can be operated with one hand because the forked stem releases the middle of the handlebars as a third grip position. If necessary, for example on inclines or ramps, the motor can help with pushing.
Luggage in the format of a small rucksack or briefcase should hang under the handlebars, according to the designers. So that uncontrolled dangling cargo cannot lead to unstable driving conditions, it is prevented from swinging by two ears on the left and right and should also be attached to it with an expander.
Also suitable for cars
If you also fold the handlebars lengthways over the vehicle, it fits into a car trunk, for example. Without having to turn the back seat, it should fit several times side by side in the trunk of the BMW 3 Series (test) or across the trunk of the mini model family. BMW would like to offer a charging option for in-house cars.
With a public appeal, BMW handed over the license for the production of the Clever Commute to its already established partner SoFlow AG as part of the trade fair, as the car manufacturer still does not want to diversify in order to be able to concentrate fully on building cars and converting its plants.
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