The Electric Urban-Mobility Market Heats Up

BMW looks to jump into the electric fray with the unveiling of the Concept Link at Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este 2017. It’s unclear if the concept is supposed to be a scooter or a motorcycle — it looks rather scooter-cycle-ish — but BMW positions it squarely in the "vision of zero-emission urban mobility on two wheels." This comes just a couple of weeks ahead of Honda Motor Co., Ltd. president and CEO Takahiro Hachigo announcing plans to introduce an electric scooter in 2018.

Continue reading for more on the BMW Concept Link and Honda’s announcement.

What’s The Buzz?

BMW Unveils Concept Link - Honda Hints at Electric Scooter for 2018
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Inspired by the Vision Next 100, the Concept Link has a fully electric powertrain, though it’s too early for details on capacity and range. Adding to its eye on the future, the Concept Link comes sans instrument cluster and instead goes with a heads-up display, putting essentials like speed and battery information on the windshield. It also has an enhanced dayplanner feature that lets the Concept Link use information on your calendar to plan the quickest route to your next destination.

Says Edgar Heinrich, Head of Design of BMW Motorrad, “The BMW Motorrad Concept Link stands for a new understanding of urban mobility. It links the digital and analogue world and places the focus on the rider and his mobility needs. In the way it links functionality and digitalisation it performs both as a means of transport as well as a communication device. For me the BMW Motorrad Concept Link, with its timeless and reduced style, is more than a concept – it is rather a symbol for a new era.
With flat battery packs stored in the floor and a small electric motor to make it go, the Concept Link has quite a bit of storage space and the onboard calendar makes this an attractive ride for a busy person in the city. It is clearly designed with busy urban professionals in mind.

On Honda’s front, CEO Takahiro Hachigo said at a 2017 press meeting, "We are striving to promote the electrification of commuter models, and we are planning to introduce some new models including an electric scooter in 2018." This press meeting discussed various products and technologies for Honda’s future and the company’s new 2030 Vision which includes research and development of a detachable mobile battery as part of a highly-convenient recharge system.

I can certainly see the benefit of taking the battery out and bringing it inside to charge it rather than having to plug in the vehicle. These inroads into Zero Emission Vehicles are long overdue.

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Allyn Hinton
Writer and Associate Motorcycle Editor -
If it had moving parts, it had Allyn's interest from a very early age. At age 11 when bicycles were too simple to hold her interest any longer, her father found her taking apart the lawn mower. When he asked why she was doing it, she replied, “I need to see how it works.” That curiosity and mechanical drive served her well over the next 40 years as she pursued careers in both the automotive and motorcycle industries. Having shared her love of motorcycles with her now husband, biker TJ Hinton, Allyn brings that love and knowledge to TopSpeed as writer and associate motorcycle editor.  Read More
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