BMW Motorrad has been working on electric motorcycles and scooters for quite some time. Now the German premium two-wheeler major has revealed patent images of its upcoming electric motorcycle. The images reveal that the next BMW electric motorcycle could be the industry-first motorcycle with a driveshaft.
BMW’s love affair with driveshaft motorcycles is nothing new. But the electric two-wheeler industry has been shying away from using that in their products. However, BMW seems to be ready to use a driveshaft in its upcoming electric bike.
The patent drawings indicate the driveshaft would allow the manufacturer freedom in motor placement and gear reduction options too. The drawings show a planetary gear system. This would allow BMW to use a high-speed and high-efficiency electric motor.
With the arrival of electric motorcycles and battery-driven powertrain, the auto industry has become free from conventional designs required for fossil-fuel-powered vehicles. The chunky internal combustion engine is gone, so is the bulky fuel tank. The electric vehicle manufacturers can utilise that space differently.
This design strategy doesn’t vary from one manufacturer to another. The majority of design innovations for the electric two-wheelers have been made for battery designs and placements. Except for the Harley-Davidson Livewire, electric motors in the majority of electric two-wheelers are positioned transversely. This strategy allows the manufacturers to go with a simple and easy method to connect the electric motor to the rear wheel. A few electric two-wheeler manufacturers have opted for gear reductions, while some others use direct drive system.
But BMW is walking a different path. It has explored driveshaft designs for electric motorcycle concept like Vision DC Roadster. Now it seems the design might be introduced in a production model as well. A driveshaft would allow BMW to explore many other innovative design solutions that would be seen in future models.