BMW eRR Electric Sportsbike Revealed

andrew New Bikes

What do you get if you bolt a high voltage cell from the BMW i3 into an S1000RR chassis? err………no really, it’s called the BMW eRR…..

You might be able to call into question the German marque’s naming strategy, but you cannot question their credentials or experience when it comes to electric propelled motor vehicles. BMW has form in this department; first the i3 and i8, and then the C-Evolution super scooter which uses power cells from the i3 bolted together to form the scooter’s chassis.

The BMW eRR is err, a bit different. It has a lot less space to play with, and hence is probably just a showpiece rather than a production bike. I can almost guarantee that the range is appalling. I also think that this ‘stepping stone’ bike is a marketing tool to convince the general public of what is possible with a battery and an electric motor.

In reality, an electric motorcycle can use a lot more clever packaging than an IC engined one, as the main motor is small, and the batteries (especially those made with lithium ion technology) can be made into far more intricate shapes for better weight distribution, and potentially brand new packaging of the main powertrain components.

BMW are giving nothing away in their eRR press release

BMW are giving nothing away in their eRR press release photos – switches even look the same as the S1000RR

As battery technology comes on, and the cells get more energy dense, bike range will improve significantly. Inductive braking will also help to recover a great deal of the kinetic energy of the bike to recharge the batteries on the go.

The KTM free ride e hints at what will be possible when battery tech catches up to current fossil fuelled range expectations, but at a real world 30miles range, it’s currently an expensive toy rather than a serious proposition. The same will almost certainly apply to the eRR if it is ridden a

Given that it takes about 30 years to get full technology adoption, it is good to see this put forwards, but it will take another 10 years before the investment in battery tech makes electric motorcycles worthwhile. Cars being much heavier will get adoption earlier.

Cheap as Chips

What is exciting about electric bikes is parsimonious running costs, when the batteries get decent enough, they will cost very little to run, and pence to charge up; rather than £20 a tank, it will cost more like £3 for a full charge. The C-Evolution costs £2 a charge for example.

I would love to see how the C-Evolution performs in the real world, commuting 80 miles daily on the motorway and in town. 

BMW uk, if you’re reading this, drop me a line. I can’t afford the £13,500 to buy a new one, but I’ll certainly give it a real world test for you.