History was made today as the first BMW C evolution scooters rolled off the assembly lines. These are the first series production all-electric vehicles to be produced by the BMW Motorrad plant in Berlin-Spandau. Customers across Europe can look forward to riding the “revolutionary” vehicle soon while those in the USA will have to wait and hope for a release date here.
Urban mobility in the form of a scooter has been part of BMW Motorrad history for a long time. The company first presented a scooter prototype – the R10 – in the early 1950s. The C1 and C1 200 scooter models of 2000-2002 demonstrated a unique rider safety concept in the form of a roof. Two new series production maxi-scooters were unveiled in 2011 – the C 600 Sport and C 650 GT – while the accelerated development of electric mobility can be traced through several steps: from the technical Concept Vehicle in 2011 to the Concept E design study and the little fleet of five near-production prototypes presented in London in 2012.
Finally the day arrived, when on the morning of Friday, April 4th, BMW Motorrad ushered in its new era of e-mobility production and celebrated with groups of journalists, representatives from politics and public affairs, and internal BMW guests. The C evolution start of production event was introduced by the head of BMW Motorrad plant in Berlin, Dr. Marc Sielemann, who said, “Today we have started a new chapter in the history of BMW Motorrad and we are very proud to herald the launch of electric vehicles in the two-wheeler segment here in Berlin.”
Many guests were welcomed in the Berlin-Spandau factory’s eLounge, including Cornelia Yzer, Berlin’s Senator for economy, technology and research, who also gave a speech to the invited guests about the new e-scooter being the best example of a smart solution for the challenges of a growing city like Berlin. In an interview after her speech, she said, “We are investing 100 million Euros until 2015 in this segment to support the infrastructure necessary to bring electromobility to the streets and make it possible for everybody to experience.”
BMW C evolution Project Leader Dr. Christian Ebner explained to guests what the sensation of riding this e-scooter is like. In his speech he referenced adventure rider and filmmaker Charley Boorman, who tested one of the prototype C evolutions in London in 2012, commenting that, “It is unbelievable, but suddenly you can hear the birds in the park while riding.”
Guests were directed to the 8,600 square foot (800 square meter) production facility and the actual factory assembly line where the customer versions of the e-scooter will be built. Here, the “Electroboogie Dancers” from Berlin took center stage, while the countdown began to the official start of production. As the countdown reached zero, the spotlights switched to the C evolution and it was time to cut the green (not red) ribbon to signal this new phase in BMW Motorrad production history.
After various photo-calls, invited guests and journalists were able to tour the production lines and learn more about the assembly cycle.