BMW and Mercedes-Benz will use their trendy MINI and Smart brands to push their electrified mobility credentials this month, with both revealing their own takes on the electric scooter revolution today.
MINI Scooter E Concept
Developed as part of its MINI E electric vehicle program, MINI's all-electric scooter features Vespa-like retro touches - with a very British feel. The styling of the single headlight and twin taillights also creates an instant connection with the company's regular four-wheeled line-up.
MINI has yet to reveal any technical details for its upcoming electric scooter concept, although the images here suggest in-wheel electric motors will drive the stylish two-wheeler, with a lithium-ion battery pack likely to take up the bulk of the available space beneath the seat.
The MINI Scooter E also integrates the Apple iPhone with its onboard systems, the trendy gadget slotting into the trendy-looking scooter's instrument cluster.
Another possibility is a traditional rear-drive layout - again with an in-wheel motor - while the front wheel features a regenerative braking system to add extra charge to the scooter's battery pack.
Smart Electric escooter Concept
Smart is also gearing up to unveil its own electric scooter at Paris, but unlike MINI, the Daimler-owned specialist-in-small has revealed images and technical details in the lead-up to the French event.
Styled with a more futuristic take on the classic scooter look, the Smart escooter is powered by an electric motor in the rear hub, producing a lowly 4kW but offering a top speed of 45km/h.
Enough for most inner-city commuting, and plenty of honking out in the suburbs.
Energy for the electric motor is provided by a 48v lithium ion battery pack beneath the seat, storing enough power for a 100km driving range.
Like MINI, Smart has also made the smart move of integrating Apple's iPhone with its onboard systems, replacing the usual instruments with an iPhone app.
Other features include ABS brakes, an airbag (still something of a rarity for two-wheelers) and a blind-spot assist system similar to that offered by the likes of Volvo, Mercedes-Benz and even Australia's HSV (with the launch of its 2011 E-Series 3 range).