BMW introduced a new generation of scooters when it debuted the C650GT and C600 Sport (since renamed the C650 Sport) back in 2012. Today, BMW’s “urban mobility” line has grown to include the C400X, C400GT and the electric C Evolution. What gets forgotten, sometimes, is that BMW used to have another scooter introduced in 2000 called the C1.
Once upon a time, electric motorcycles had such short range and high MSRPs that only the most devoted of early adopters had a reason to consider owning one. Well, in the past couple years, improvements in range have resulted in electrics now being a viable option for riders who are looking for a greener alternative to internal combustion engine (ICE) motorcycles, which are relatively dirty compared to four-wheeled road users. So, we’ve taken the 2018 BMW C Evolution scooter and the 2018 Zero DSR as representatives of two different approaches to urban electric motorcycles to see how they stack up for everyday use. Note: This is not our typical comparison where we try to determine the best motorcycle out of a pairing. Rather, we are looking at two different electric bikes to determine their viability as urban transport.
Trying to figure out the range of an electric motorcycle is like competing in an eating contest: You think you know the limits, but you’re never quite sure until you’ve gone too far. Nonetheless, we at Motorcycle.com are fortunate enough to have ridden many of the electric motorcycle offerings out there, and at the very least, this gives us a starting point when discussing the range you can expect from an electric.
When it comes to two-wheeled practicality in an urban environment, it’s hard to beat a scooter. Perhaps that is why, in much of the world, you’ll see cities crawling with them. Scooters are easy to maneuver, easy to park, and most offer some cargo carrying capacity. They’re perfect for commuting or running out to pick up some groceries.
BMW has brought its C Evolution electric mid-sized scooter to AIMExpo, and although we had information from BMW about the U.S. specifications of the C Evolution at the end of July, BMW tells us the electric scooter is now available for sale at select California dealers as a 2018 model with an MSRP of $13,750. We should see availability around the country in the months to follow.