E-wheels spark in­ter­est

NT News - Motoring - - CARS GUIDE - By MARK HINCHLIFFE

ELEC­TRIC bikes and scoot­ers are mov­ing from nov­elty items to real trans­port al­ter­na­tives with heavy­weight mo­tor­cy­cle man­u­fac­tur­ers BMW and Husq­varna pro­duc­ing con­cept mod­els.

With BMW buy­ing the Swedish mo­tor­cy­cle man­u­fac­turer in the past year, the tech­nolo­gies are likely to be shared, but their vi­sion of fu­ture elec­tric two-wheeled trans­port is dif­fer­ent.

BMW Mo­tor­rad’s Con­cept e scooter has a tra­di­tional maxi-scooter look with a ro­bust and sub­stan­tial body.

How­ever, Husq­varna, which is known for its of­froad ma­chines, has gone for a more nim­ble bike with of­froad ca­pa­bil­ity in its Con­cept E-go.

BMW claims their scooter will be a ‘‘fu­ture se­rial pro­duc­tion ve­hi­cle’’, but nei­ther com­pany is giv­ing a time­frame for pro­duc­tion.

The Husky Con­cept E-go weighs only 80kg and has in­ter­est­ing in­no­va­tions such as a ‘‘sin­gle-sided dou­ble-leg fork’’ with 35mm of in­ner tube and an alu­minium sin­gle-side swing arm.

The bat­tery sup­port is also con­structed from alu­minium, the frame and oval pip­ing is made from steel, while the sin­gle seat is self-sup­port­ing.

The BMW Con­cept e elec­tro-scooter has the com­pany’s ‘‘split face’’ from the up­per trim sec­tion to above the front wheel cover.

It also has a twin-tipped spoiler in the float­ing panel of the front trim, a boomerang-shaped acrylic glass side panel and low-cut wind­shield. The de­sign of the light al­loy wheels is de­rived from the styling of BMW’s elec­tric ‘‘i’’ cars.

It is pow­ered by a 60-volt­plus mo­tor with ac­cel­er­a­tion promised to match a com- bus­tion en­gine maxi scooter for ‘‘safe over­tak­ing on ur­ban mo­tor­ways when car­ry­ing a pas­sen­ger’’.

Range will be about 100km and charg­ing from flat will take less than three hours.

The charg­ing socket is in the front sec­tion of the cen­tral tun­nel and fea­tures a trans­par­ent plas­tic cover.

Be­fore the end of this year, BMW Mo­tor­rad will also re­turn to con­ven­tional scooter pro­duc­tion with two maxi scoot­ers pow­ered by twocylin­der com­bus­tion en­gines. BMW Group Aus­tralia spokesman Miles Davis says the ar­rival date of the maxis is not yet con­firmed.

‘‘There should be some sort of re­lease be­fore the end of the year at one of the ma­jor Euro­pean shows,’’ he says.

Mean­while, Domino’s Pizza is go­ing elec­tric with a fleet of elec­tric de­liv­ery scoot­ers across Aus­tralia.

Domino’s An­drew Ren­nie says the move to re­place its cur­rent petrol-pow­ered fleet with elec­tric scoot­ers over the next three years is part of a com­mit­ment to re­duc­ing its im­pact on the environment. It will give Domino’s the largest elec­tric scooter fleet in Aus­tralia, he says.

‘‘We have done ex­ten­sive re­search and test­ing to en­sure elec­tric scoot­ers can de­liver long term ben­e­fits to our busi­ness and our en­vi­ron­men­tal im­pact,’’ he says.

Domino’s New Farm store in Bris­bane was one of the first stores to use elec­tric scoot­ers as part of a trial.

Domino’s Pizza will use a fleet of elec­tric de­liv­ery scoot­ers

BMW Mo­tor­rad is re­turn­ing to con­ven­tional scooter pro­duc­tion by the end of the year

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