BMW will launch around 200 i Pedelec electric scooters in London this summer as part of its fleet for the 2012 Olympic games. We've had a good chance to pore all over a prototype i Pedelec and can see what all the fuss is about.
BMW is the sole provider of vehicles to London 2012 and will test a couple of hundred Pedelecs with athletes and organisers at the games.
BMW i Pedelec: the lowdown
The i Pedelec is an electrically assisted bicycle conceived as part of Munich's sweeping Project i plan. It's taking an holistic view to urban mobility and the scooter is designed to slot in the back of an i3 so motorists can drive into towns in an electric hatch and then continue for the last mile on a bike/scooter combo.
There are conventional pedals so cyclists can still, like, actually pedal. Great news for those worried about a burgeoning obesity crisis.
But a 200W electric motor, powered by a 350Wh battery, can assist when you need to power up Highgate Hill.
Pedelec: collapses into your BMW boot
The clever bit is how lightweight and flexible the i Pedelec is. Like the carbonfibre i cars, the Pedelec benefits from lightweight construction and despite the electric gubbins weighs less than 20kg, according to BMW's sales and marketing chief Ian Robertson.
It collapses into a smaller package for stowage in a car boot, yet it can still be rolled and steered by its wheels when collapsed for easy transit on the underground or into office spaces.
BMW claims a 33-mile battery range and a top speed of 15.5mph. It'll simply plug into a socket in the boot of an i3, where it sits in a cradle when you flip one of the rear seats forwards. We've seen it demonstrated and have lifted up a prototype bike - it's impressively lightweight.
'No licence or helmet is required for the Pedelec,' said Benoit Jacob, who heads up BMW's i car design department.
It is not yet clear what sort of price BMW would charge for an iPedelec. But the i cars will certainly not be cheap: the i3 will be pitched at around £36,000 and the i8 supercar is likely to cost £120,000.