BMW is just as much a design and engineering firm as it is an automaker. Look no further than the innovative mobility concepts the company shows off every few years, including the Personal Mover from 2018, which allows for fast transit through BMW’s production facilities. The latest innovations from BMW that fall into a similar category take the form of the Dynamic Cargo electric bicycle (which seems more like a trike), and the Clever Commute electric scooter.
Before you get too excited, BMW isn’t going to produce or sell either one, but the company does say discussions with potential licensees are ongoing. While the prospect of being able to someday buy a version of either one of the concepts is pretty low, they stand as a demonstration of what BMW is capable of outside of the automotive realm.
The Dynamic Cargo electric bicycle rides on three wheels, and the front frame is connected to the rear by way of a pivot axle that allows for tilting during cornering. The rear cargo area is kept upright though, which allows for greater stability and the feeling that little to no weight is being carried. The aft portion of the design is also modular, allowing for uses as varied as transporting personal belongings, groceries, or children. BMW calls the Dynamic Cargo a pick-up bike that was designed with driving pleasure and for flexible, year-round use. The battery is also removable, allowing for at-home charging.
“Our goal was to develop a concept that retains the agility and driving feel of a normal bicycle while adding innovative, safe transport options” says Jochen Karg, head of vehicle concepts in the BMW Group’s New Technologies and China division. “The “Concept Dynamic Cargo” is the first dynamic ‘pick-up’ cargo bike that combines driving pleasure with flexible use and increased year-round suitability.”
Electric scooters have risen in prominence in metropolitan areas over the past several years, but BMW aptly points out that the growth has primarily been achieved through sharing, which allows them to be left on street corners or near popular venues, and then activated by smartphone app when needed. Personal ownership of electric scooters, on the other hand, is said to remain low, and isn’t particularly common outside of the densest cities, where congestion-choked streets prompt their use.
BMW’s solution is the Clever Commute electric scooter which has an ergonomic design for daily use, what’s described as excellent riding stability, and an exceptionally compact form factor when folded and stowed. The Clever Commute was conceived with flexible use in mind, so that it can be packed up and carried on public transit, or stored in the trunk of a car. The design bridges the gap between the more comfortable and capable electric scooters on the market, which are typically too large and cumbersome for mixed use, and smaller and more compact examples which are ideal for being folded up and carried onto the subway or bus, but suffer in terms of speed, stability, and range.
When the Clever Commute is folded, it can still be rolled, and the front wheel’s integrated hub motor gives things a slight boost when going uphill. Like the Dynamic Cargo bike, the Clever Commute uses a removable battery that can be charged at home or at the office. BMW says the scooter is small enough when folded to fit lengthwise into the trunk of a current 3 Series, and sideways into the trunk of a Mini.
Again, neither model is slated for production by BMW, but the automaker is said to be engaging in discussions with potential licensees.—Alex Tock
[Photos courtesy BMW AG.]