After a brief hiatus, BMW has replaced the C Evolution electric scooter with the new CE 04. Launched in 2014, the C Evolution wasn’t exactly a hit. BMW refreshed the model in 2016, increasing the range and power, two common criticisms, but also increasing weight.
The new CE 04 refocuses on a city/suburban mission, shedding nearly 100 pounds to 509 pounds by shrinking the battery almost back to the size of the original C Evolution. The scooter has an angular, geometric, anime-style body, with a long, thinly padded seat (30.7 inches off the deck) floating above a long and low chassis. You can tell that the CE 04 is aimed at the style-conscious urban crowd; even the sidestand is designed to flow into the bodywork when retracted.
The drivetrain technology is related to BMW’s iX and i4 electric cars, with an 147.6-volt, 8.9 kWh lithium-ion battery and motor controller derived from them. The liquid-cooled, frame-mounted, permanent magnet EMP 156 electric motor outputs a maximum 42 hp at 4,900 rpm and a healthy 44 lb-ft of torque at 1,500 rpm. Power is routed to the single-sided swingarm-mounted rear wheel via belt drive. The drivetrain recharges the battery when coasting. The 15-inch wheels have 4.3 inches of travel up front and 3.6 out back. Four-piston fixed calipers squeeze 265mm dual front discs, and a single disc, single caliper setup provides stopping power in the rear.
A 10.25-inch TFT color screen with integrated mapping (similar to the screen seen on the R 18 Transcontinental) leads the technology. LED lighting (with an optional adaptive headlight), ABS (with lean angle-sensitive ABS Pro optional), Automatic Stability Control, and ride modes put the CE 04 on par with BMW’s motorcycle offerings. For this phone-addled age, a weather-resistant, fan-cooled, and locking compartment charges your phone while you ride.
With a 75 mph top speed and a 0-to-62 hovering around nine seconds, the CE 04 isn’t going to set the world aflame. But you can use the reverse gear to park the bike just right and stow your helmet beneath the seat before entering a Brooklyn-esque gastropub.
The 2022 models are available in Light White and optional Magellan Gray metallic. Pricing starts at $11,795. Note that the CE 04 isn’t a value play, nor is it a replacement for your R 1250 GS or K 1600 GT. It’s an environmentally conscious urban runabout that lets others know you’ve arrived.