It's fair to say that BMW's i8 and i3 really established the Bavarian company as a true pioneer in the age when the world finally woke up to the potential of electric cars. The i8 proved that plug-in hybrids could be exciting. The i3 proved that all electric run-abouts could be fun, cool, dynamic and fashionable.
But amongst all this, with all-electric motorcycles becoming ever more popular as people switch to two wheels to get around in a low-cost, low-impact way, BMW's own Motorcycle division still stands as one of the old guard. Not to say they're out of date, of course — BMW still makes some of the fastest sport bikes and meanest off-road bikes on the market right now, but in an industry where old-school Italian and British brands are so likely to reject the concept of electricity altogether, it feels right for a brand like BMW to chart a new course forward for the industry.
And so they have, unveiling the concept that could form the foundation of their future in electric motorcycles. Dubbed the Vision DC, it takes obvious cues from BMW Motorrad's strong heritage in motorcycles, with a clear sight towards the future.
The most striking part of the bike comes in the sides, which to many enthusiasts eyes would seem reminiscent of the elements that have for a long time been synonymous with the boxer engines that BMW uses to power many of its most iconic bikes. These have been remodeled to form cooling panels for the battery pack that open and close depending on whether the bike is stationery or moving.
Naturally, BMW haven't really specified anything about what they imagine their electric bike's performance would be, but considering that the fastest bike in the world could be electric right now and revived brand Curtiss have just revealed an electric bike that does 0-100 in 2.1 seconds, it's safe to assume it would probably be pretty quick off the mark. BMW claims that it would have a ‘high level of torque right at set-off" that "makes for breath-taking acceleration."
Constructed from aluminium and carbon fibre, the bike is designed from the ground-up to be an unashamed beacon of electric performance. The bike's battery pack is placed front and centre where the engine has traditionally laid, with the effect of the bodywork around it acting to make the bike look utterly futuristic without straying too far from the design ethos of BMW's previous touring bikes.
The bike was unveiled alongside their first concept detailing an all-electric sports coupe and the natural successor to the i8, named the Vision M Concept. Imbued with the equivalent of 600 horsepower, it would theoretically be capable of 0-100 in 3 seconds and top out at over 300km/h.