BMW Rolls Out iPhone Friendly Mini EV Scooter [Video]

BMW is set to debut three new electric-powered scooters at the 2010 Paris Motor Show. The Mini Scooter E is a two-wheeled two-seater, with its electric motor housed back with the rear wheel. There has been much talk of late about the need for a buildout of a charging infrastructure to support electric vehicles; a report from Pike Research yesterday foresaw 4.7 million charge points to be installed globally by 2015. But the Mini Scooter E sidesteps this question entirely, since it can be charged at any old outlet using an on-board cable. Here's the coolest part of the Mini, though: the scooter's cockpit houses a snap-in adapter for your smartphone, which becomes the central display and control element of the scooter. In fact, the smartphone will even serve as the ignition key; snap it in, and the scooter switches on.


All the things that you usually feel guilty about doing on your smartphone while driving, the scooter basically makes easier (and probably safer) for you to do. Your GPS is docked right in front of you, instead of held outstretched in your hand; you can presumably use your iTunes like a built in radio; and you can make calls hands free with the help of a Bluetooth-outfitted helmet. BMW also has conceived an app that will let you know where other Mini Scooter E's are in your vicinity. When you pass a fellow traveler on the road, the app will flash your headlights in mutual self-congratulation.

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  • thepete

    These bikes look great, but here in NYC, I think I'd like them to be a little louder. I used to ride an old 1989 Honda Elite around Los Angeles and the noise helped me get attention in traffic (especially when my muffler fell off!). The Mini EV is so quiet, you'd expect a ninja would commute to work with it. Also, can the iPhone record video while it's docked? I'd love to have a "black box" kind of thing going with it--but with more than just GPS. As for Ryan Lucia's comment about it only being "zero emissions" if the electricity used to charge it was from a zero emission source, I think that's quibbling. Taken literally, the vehicle, itself, has zero emissions. Taken with the big picture in mind, it still causes much less pollution. So we're still doing better than if I was still tooling around on that old mufflerless Elite.

  • Mrhack

    So wait... I can buy one of these scooters then ride around town finding others to steal? Love it!!

  • Laura Knight

    you might want to correct the name of the company in the title of this article; its "BMW" NOT "BWM".

  • Ryan Lucia

    You know I used to love this mag, but lately it seems like you guys have become more of a shill for Apple then Mash-Apple. The fact that this is a smartphone doesn't mean "iphone." Bad headlines are bad.

    It's also annoying when people claim, "It's electric so it's zero emissions." It's only zero emission if the electricity used to charge the battery comes from a zero emission source, which isn't the case in a majority of situations.

  • hans.gerwitz

    But it is in Seattle, and if we'd shifted emissions from individual vehicles to the power grid *before* it went carbon-neutral, the investment in a green grid would have been even more powerful.

  • Ryan Lucia

    Except Seattle City Light still produces emissions, and "carbon-neutral," or "Zero net carbon dioxide emmissions" as Seattle City Light calls it is still creating emissions regardless of the amount of power they generate from hydroelectric. The other problem is that Seattle City Light only serves the City of Seattle, and Puget Power services the rest of the greater Seattle area.

    Carbon Neutral is a "green" marketing pitch. Emissions are still generated thus it isn't zero emission.