BMW’s concept of emission-free, two-wheeler mobility


As urbanisation progresses, more and more people are crowding into cities, so conventional mobility concepts and local public transportation are reaching the limits of their capability. Congestion and high levels of air pollution are the results, which in turn leads to constraints on the quality of life.

The BMW Group’s Research, New Technologies, Innovations division is devoted to addressing this and other challenges.

“Our goal is to link sustainable and efficient mobility with a high quality of living in cities. We use new technologies as well as our creativity to create innovative approaches as the BMW Vision E³ Way,” says Dr Gerd Schuster, senior vice president of the BMW’s Research, New Technologies and Innovations division.

BMW Vision E³ Way presents a new level of emission-free two-wheeler mobility. It is developed at the BMW Group Technology Office in Shanghai, China. The BMW Vision E³ Way project shows a visionary mobility concept that is designed to provide a simple and effective solution to address the challenges faced by megacities (such as traffic congestion and air pollution).

The three E’s stand for “elevated”, “electric” and “efficient” – the concept’s defining properties. The concept consists of an elevated road concept for electrically powered two-wheel vehicles, which links key traffic hubs in urban conurbations. The use of roadways that are elevated above existing roads means the project generates additional traffic capacity.

The BMW Vision E³ Way is explicitly conceived for emission-free, single-track mobility concepts (“electric”), such as e-bikes, the BMW Motorrad Concept Link and the recently presented BMW Motorrad X2 City – likewise developed by the Research, New Technologies, Innovations division.

The elevated road is simple and modular in design, economical to build as a result, and provides a fast, direct link between key traffic hubs; making it the perfect alternative for commuters travelling up to 15 km. This makes use of the elevated road very efficient not only in terms of cost but also as regards travel time (“efficient”).

Ramps and sluice systems are used to connect the BMW Vision E³ Way to the regular road network, underground stations, other traffic hubs, and even shopping malls. By shifting single-track mobility to its own spatial level, the BMW Vision E³ Way makes daily commuting faster and safer…

The fact that it is used solely by electrically powered two-wheel vehicles means that collisions with cars are ruled out. The general risk of accidents is further reduced by means of an automatic speed limit of 25 km/h. Additionally, there is an elaborate system of lanes that separate filtering traffic from flowing traffic: not until travel speed has been reached do the two merge.

Those who do not already own a vehicle approved for the BMW Vision E³ Way can still use the facility spontaneously by means of a sharing scheme that provides rental vehicles at each access point. The elevated road is largely roofed over, ensuring protection from rain and heat. A cooling system with purified rainwater creates pleasant temperatures: this can also be used to clean the road surface at night.

Director of BMW Group Technology Office China, Markus Seidel, says: “The BMW Vision E³ Way opens up a whole new dimension of mobility in overcrowded conurbations, efficiently, conveniently and safely. It works by simply creating space for two-wheeled, zero-emission traffic.

“In China, more than a billion people will be living in cities by 2050. The country will become the global incubator for numerous mobility innovations such as the BMW Vision E³ Way. Nowhere else is there such an urgent need for action,” Seidel concludes.

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