BMW's Definition CE 04 Electric Scooter Is The Cyberpunk City-Commuter Future We All Need

Illustration for article titled BMWs Definition CE 04 Electric Scooter Is The Cyberpunk City-Commuter Future We All Need
Photo: BMW

Yesterday we saw the launch of BMW’s electric iX sport utility, a strong hint at the future of Munich’s next-gen EV design. The other half of BMW, the company’s motorrad division, also launched a near-production concept to point at future design: the Definition CE 04. Aside from its silly name, this totally rad electric city scooter could be the catalyst for a two-wheeled urban revolution.

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I’ve spent some real time lately with real electric motorcycles, and every time I swing a leg over an electron-driven two-wheeler I fall more deeply in love with the concept. If this thing delivers on the promise of an electric scooter — and I know BMW has the potential to do just that — then I’ll be convinced that the future is finally here.

Given the right infrastructure, urban scooters like this one could solve a whole lot of problems. Europe has long embraced the two-wheeled commuter mobile, and this is the ultimate zero-emissions extension of that ideal. It’s got exciting futuristic design, daily-livable utility and cool decals. Honestly, who could ask for more?

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Scooters don’t have to be boring. BMW won’t cough up any power or range figures, but it isn’t like the Bavarians to be merely competitive. It’s likely this little guy will come out of the gate swinging. Maybe 100 miles of range? Say, 50 or more horseponies? That’s a good bet.

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For a concept like this to be great, it has to bring something new to the table, and the CE 04 delivers like Domino’s. BMW developed a full suite of protective rider gear that integrates with the bike. My favorite example of this is the riding parka which has turn signals and brake lights woven right into the fabric.

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This added level of visibility makes riding in the city a much safer affair, and I feel that while this technology already technically exists, it’s something that needs to be given a larger platform. Like, say, from a major OEM bikemaker. This should be standard equipment on all new bikes, available from a number of aftermarket gear manufacturers, and it should use a standardized plug. Give me the motorcycle equivalent of a CHMSL immediately, please and thank you.

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BMW has been building electric scooters since 2014's C Evolution. The CE 04 concept takes that bike’s standards to new heights. Here’s hoping the production version is as nifty as this piece.

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Jalopnik contributor with a love for everything sketchy and eclectic.

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DISCUSSION

Finally, someone built a scooter that doesn’t look like the disappointing consolation prize for people who can’t (or won’t) ride a motorcycle.

The riding position still looks silly though.