BMW is really taking the electric, personal transportation thing seriously these days. Earlier this month, the company unveiled the CE 04 — a somewhat enticing newcomer to the full-size scooter market, save for the fact it’s too expensive and charges too slowly. Still, I’ll applaud the Cyberpunk-esque design.
And that’s not all! On Monday, BMW revealed an electric motor-assisted bike and e-scooter, called the Dynamic Cargo and Clever Commute, respectively. They’re refreshingly simple and thoughtfully designed. Unfortunately, the German maker of cars and motorcycles has no plans to build either — at least, by itself.
The Dynamic Cargo is probably the more interesting of the pair by virtue of the fact it’s a tricycle you pedal yourself, with two wheels mounted at the rear. It has a small cargo area, just as it’s name would suggest, sitting atop the back wheels. This cargo area can be covered and is designed to support a child seat above it.
The rear wheels are driven by an electric motor as the rider pedals, like your standard e-bike. But what gives the Dynamic Cargo an edge over a typical trike is that the front wheel leans relative to the rears via a pivot axle, in turn improving cornering and overall stability. The wheelbase is also reasonably compact, despite the fact it can still haul a bucket of stuff.
The Clever Commute on the other hand is more of a conventional e-scooter. It can fold down to stow away when not in use, though lots of scooters can do that. BMW’s approach is particularly good at minimizing itself because the footboard folds at its sides as the rear wheel retracts underneath, shortening the wheelbase enough so that the whole thing can fit on the step of an escalator length-wise, or in the back of a BMW 3 Series or even a Mini’s hatch. The hub motor integrated within the front wheel also provides some assistive power when pushing the scooter up inclines.
The battery packs on both concepts can be removed and charged at home, though they don’t provide a ton of endurance, with Electrek citing just 20 kilometers (12 miles) of range. That’s less than half the distance the typical Bird scooters littering the sidewalks of your city can travel.
But there’s still some ingenuity on display here, which is why BMW’s immediate clarification that it’s definitely not manufacturing these machines themselves sort of undercuts any enthusiasm we’d otherwise have. The company says it “is already in discussions with potential licensees” regarding the designs of both the trike and the scooter, though there’s no telling how much they’d cost if they did in fact go on sale. Maybe if BMW’s not technically the one making them, they might actually be affordable? Nah, probably not.