New Bikes

Mini makes more scooter hints

Another two-wheeled concept from Mini

BMW’S fashion-conscious Mini sub-brand showed the concept for an electric scooter four years ago as the firm explored ways to reach customers that wanted something more traffic-friendly than a car, and now the firm has revealed another battery-powered two wheeler.

The new machine, also just a concept at the moment, is something of a misfit – effectively a push-along scooter with added electric power to slot into the same legal area as electrically-assisted bicycles, needing neither a licence nor insurance but able to move under its own power.

The idea is much like Honda’s decades-old Motocompo; you commute in a car to the outskirts of town, park up, get your folding scooter out of the boot and buzz into work on that. But where the old Honda was a petrol-powered, road-registered machine the new Mini is more like a folding bicycle.

To fit rules around electric bicycles it’s got a limited top speed of 15mph – which you’d have thought is just fast enough to be a menace on pavements and just slow enough to be equally unwelcome in traffic, although perhaps amid inner-city congestion it’s enough to get by. The range is just 10 to 15 miles, after which you resort to kicking it along as though you’re a five-year-old again. The 18kg weight seems light enough until you imagine having to propel it yourself for any distance…

As it’s a concept, production is far from a certainty, but it’s clear that Mini has its eyes on two-wheeled transport of some form in the future.

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