Home Cars & Bikes BMW CE 04 electric scooter – Snap review

BMW CE 04 electric scooter – Snap review

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The BMW CE 04 is not your dad’s Vespa. It’s a radical departure from the norm, with an electric powertrain, a futuristic design, and a price tag that screams “premium”. Is it worth the money?

The CE 04 is undeniably striking. Its long, low-slung silhouette, enclosed storage compartment, and exposed electric motor give it a sci-fi vibe. At times, I felt like Luke Skywalker riding his hover bike in Return of the Jedi.

The massive 10.25-inch (26 cm) TFT display dominates the cockpit, adding to the futuristic feel. It’s definitely a conversation starter, and you’re guaranteed to get curious looks wherever you go.

Is it quick?

With 31 kW and 62 Nm of torque, the CE 04 packs a hard punch. Acceleration is instant and exhilarating, stretching your arms as you whoosh past slower vehicles. BMW claims a 0-50 km/h sprint time of 2,6 seconds.

The top speed of 120 km/h is plenty, and the handling is nimble for such a large and heavy machine. The long wheelbase and low centre of gravity provide excellent stability and confident cornering, even at high speeds.

What tech does it have?

The CE 04 is loaded with tech, including keyless ignition, heated grips and seat, a reversing function, and connectivity for your smartphone. The TFT display is a marvel, showing everything from speed and battery level to turn-by-turn navigation. The optional fast charger (factory fitted) can juice up the battery in just 45 minutes, making it a viable option for leisure rides.

At a Zimi charger at Lourensford wine estate I charged from 50 to 100 percent in the time it took to eat a hamburger. To do so, I connected the charger to the scooter with a Zencar 22 kW T2-T2 EV charging cable.

Is it all unicorns and rainbows?

Maybe the CE 04’s range is a bit of a letdown, maybe it isn’t. But with a real-world range of around 130 km, it’s not ideal for touring. And let’s not forget the price tag. Starting at R256 000 (before optional extras), the CE 04 is significantly more expensive than most traditional scooters.

Pros and cons of the CE 04

Pros:

  • Bold, futuristic design
  • Exhilarating performance with instant acceleration
  • Loaded with technology, including sat-nav, keyless ignition, and heated grips
  • Optional fast charging for quick refueling

Cons:

  • Range of 130 km
  • It’s expensive

But is it really that expensive?

Over a quarter of a million rand for a two-wheeler is a big ask. Then again, Ducati asks R825 000 for the Panigale V4 SP2 30° Anniversario 916, while the BMW M 1000 RR is priced “from” R706 400. 

Premium vehicles will always seem expensive to those who cannot afford them. Lastly, consider that electric cars sell for upward of R650 000. If you simply must satisfy your desire for electric high performance, the CE 04 will leave you satisfied – at less than half the price.

Verdict and rating

If you’re looking for a scooter for short commutes and weekend errands, and have the money to spare, the CE 04 is a great choice. But if you need a long-distance touring machine or are on a tight budget, you’d be better served looking at Silence and EWIZZ products. Don’t forget about the BMW CE 02 either.

If you don’t mind “burning stuff” (petrol), consider the SYM CityCom 300i (R80 000) or the X-Max 300 (R114 950) and T-Max 560 (R249 950) from Yamaha.

The BMW CE 04 scores 5 out of 5.

5.0 out of 5.0 stars
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