BMW CE 04 Electric Scooter - Well priced, but Disappointing


is a brand new ELECTRIC product that came out at about the same time as Energica Experia and it comes from one of the biggest names in motorcycle world - BMW - so my expectations were high

and they were not met

i was actually shocked by how affordable it is ( about $14,000 versus $26,000 for Energica Experia ) but as you delve deeper into what it actually offers you see why …

BMW CE 04 is 510 lbs to Energica’s 570 lbs so it is 90% of the weight of Energica Experia and also 55% of the cost but only has 40% of battery capacity and 40% of the horsepower of Energica Experia …

at first i almost couldn’t believe how low the battery capacity and power were - i was like - where does the 500 lbs of weight come from ?

well from here:

this is an extremely cheap frame obviously made from low quality steel and featuring essentially no triangulation. this frame is even more primitive than what you find on Vespa Scooters. Even my furniture moving dolly has a more advanced frame. this frame is where the weight is coming from - actual motor and battery are very small. that giant void is a space to store the helmet.

also the entire design is form over function, like the solid wheels which undoubtedly add more weight, or the space between seat and body which again is unnecessary complexity and weight.

so is BMW stupid ? well no - they are simply not targeting motorcycle riders with this - they are targeting the scooter market. when compared to other scooters this BMW is creme de la creme - best of the best.

they used an amount of power just enough to put CE 04 ahead of the product class ( Maxi Scooters ) and then they used just big enough battery to power that motor and then the cheapest frame that would hold it together reliably without going over the weight limit of what a Scooter should weigh. that’s it.

so why am i disappointed ? because electric technology was an opportunity to reimagine what a scooter is, just like Tesla reimagined Sedan and SUV with the 1,000 horsepower “plaid” versions … those family cars can take on traditional supercars like Ferrari and win and BMW could have done the same - they could have given us a scooter that can take on a Harley and win …

all they had to do was make an effort, like Energica does, but they didn’t.

instead they decided to offer us something that is better than any other scooter, but still just a scooter.

some BMW executive decided that it was important to keep the price down to $14,000 which would make it competitive against other scooters, whereas if they maxed it out with Energica type specs it would then also cost $26,000 and nobody would buy it.

i think that was a mistake. i think a scooter that could do 0-60 in 3 seconds would have created its own market just like Tesla created their own market with performance EV Sedans and SUVs and how Hummer EV is creating it’s own market with Performance EV Trucks.

likewise we could have had a Performance EV Scooter - instead we just have a regular EV scooter - one that is good for a scooter, but doesn’t really create a new product category.

BMW CE 04 is no match for anything from Harley Davidson even though Harley is still using World War 2 era technology in most of their motorcycles …

BMW CE 04 is also no match for anything made by Energica or Zero ( the two leading makers of Electric Motorcycles ) - not even the cheapest and oldest Zero model which is ANCIENT and costs about the same as BMW CE 04.

the only thing BMW CE 04 can compete against is scooters - at least it beats them all, though.

the BMW CE 04 is great for what it is - a scooter made for old European cities. but that’s all it is.

I was thinking about picking it up as something to learn on so i can then switch over to Energica but honestly, an entry level Zero would be a better choice for that as it’s about the same price but is more bike-like and less scooter-like.

on other hand if you want practical city transport the BMW CE 04 is pretty much endgame for that. but since i have no intention of ever living in a city it’s not for me.

if you currently own a scooter and want to stay with a scooter and simply want a new one that is electric and good then you should certainly consider BMW CE 04 and i will post some reviews below:

but overall i can’t recommend this product because i know BMW could have done better …

they went for a really bold and radical styling but the actual engineering is very tame and in my opinion too sensible …

the substances of what this scooter is ultimately doesn’t match the looks - underneath cutting edge exterior styling lies a very old school and cheap frame and only the minimum level of motor and battery that BMW needed to make it a viable product …

there is simply nothing to get excited about with this product, even if it may be perfectly fine …

best way i can explain this product is it’s the BMW i3 of Motorcycles …

a cool exercise in design and an interesting experiment and even reasonably practical but ultimately just simply doesn’t offer anything to get excited about …

Give it time…if it does well…they will deliver a higher-priced model…hopefully of the quality you (and others) desire.

it’s actually already a 2nd generation !

the 1st gen came out a decade ago ! ! !

it was also considered a success.

this new one will also be a success.

it’s sad because Legacy Automakers can’t think outside the box. even when they get a radically new technology they still continue to make old fashioned products with it.

it isn’t even stupidity as much as cowardice.

what makes Elon different isn’t intelligence - it’s his boldness. most of his ideas are complete GARBAGE but he actually turns those garbage ideas in to reality, and then fixes them later.

whereas i have much better ideas and spend years refining them but i will never put any of them to use.

but Legacy auto is somehow even worse than me. they’re like me from the future. Elon is like me when i was in High School and i’m slowly turning into a Legacy Automaker.