(From BMW press reports)
With the serial production of the BMW C evolution imminent, 'field trials' have been taking place in the Italian city of Rome.
A fleet of BMW C evolution all-electric scooters are ready and waiting at the capital's premier BMW Motorrad Roma dealership for the next round of participants to take part in final field trials before serial production begins. The trials started towards the end of November and involve a significant number of riders, all selected from within the BMW Group. During the three-week trials, all riders play their part in the latest evaluation of this technically-advanced e-scooter in the final stages of its development.
As Andreas Tomec, Project Manager Vehicle Validation, explains, it's the balance of independent feedback from a variety of riders that is important: “Every year I send out a communication within the BMW Group, asking for volunteers to be considered for events like these. People are able to register their interest as we do a number of these field trials every year and then if they are selected, they have the opportunity to participate.”
Despite already having covered many thousands of test kilometres during its development, this final 'real world' trial for the C evolution is unique in that it includes people with no direct involvement in the project, and aims to seek their impartial opinions on a number of factors. Following each riding session – of which there are two per day over approximately five days – there are detailed questionnaires filled in by participants, who are asked to rate the C evolution in many different areas.
Just about every conceivable area of the e-scooter is covered in field trials such as this one. In the case of the BMW C evolution, participants will be asked to comment in detail about a variety of subjects, from the design, feel and functionality of various components, to the seating comfort, ergonomics, simplicity and operational efficiency of all controls and switchgear. Just about everything is rated, from the performance, acceleration and range, right down to the under-seat storage capacity, side-stand action, and even the effectiveness of the rear view mirrors. If certain patterns are recognised from the detailed feedback, then it is clear that some further modifications may be necessary.
With around three weeks of detailed evaluation taking place in Rome, there is a new group of riders that arrives approximately every five days, by the end of which time they will have racked up some serious kilometres aboard the e-scooter. They will also experience a variety of routes, as the prestigious BMW Motorrad dealership where the fleet is based, is situated right on the city limits. This allows participants to head into the centre of the capital to take on the legendary Rome traffic. There are also some peripheral routes to choose from, heading away from the urban jungle and allowing riders to experience the top-speed and longer-distance capability of the C evolution, on a mix of roads from auto routes to mountain twisties.
One rider returning from a morning's testing commented that: “It rides fabulously well. You can't really compare it to a motorcycle because it's so much easier to get through the traffic. The acceleration is unbelievable. No other scooter was able to come close to matching the power of the C evolution. All the Italian riders that dared to race away from the traffic lights – no one came close!”
Another satisfied 'prospective customer' stated that: “I cannot imagine anything better. In downtown Rome and outside of the city up in the mountains, the handling was excellent. The acceleration, stability and aerodynamics are all just amazing. There's nothing better currently available on the market.”
Summing up a common theme of surprise and enjoyment with the C evolution, another rider concluded that: “This e-scooter represents the slogan of BMW – the ultimate riding machine. Whoever rides this cannot fail to be impressed by the dynamic acceleration, whether inside or outside of the city. There is a pure enjoyment to riding it. I currently ride an 800cc motorcycle and if you're asking about performance and acceleration, it doesn't come close to the C evolution.”
Strong endorsements indeed, but then the C evolution has that capacity to impress. With just a few months to go until it appears in dealer showrooms, it looks as if this fast-charging, all-electric scooter won't stay plugged in for long. Its place is on the streets, beating the traffic and leading the way in zero-emissions urban mobility.