BMW CE 04 in the everyday test: a cool device with small weaknesses

If BMW Motorrad has its way, the scooter of the future is called the BMW CE 04. The name stands for the new, up to 42 hp, large electric scooter from Bavaria with a maximum range of 130 kilometers (WMTC standard) according to the manufacturer. Cost point: from 11,990 euros. The successor to the C Evolution is designed for urban areas and is intended to be the perfect companion for commuters.
Reason enough for AUTO BILD to put the unique device to the test in a four-week everyday test: How does the BMW CE 04 cope with the daily demands of four different drivers? Where are the strengths, where are the weaknesses? What do the testers involved notice positively? What you do not like? In the end, do you recommend the BMW CE 04 for purchase?

The driving profile of tester Lars Hänsch-Petersen

Lars Hänsch-Petersen is the first. The editor lives in Hamburg, seven kilometers from the publishing house. For sports, Hänsch-Petersen drives 7.2 kilometers on the shortest route. It’s only a few hundred meters to your favorite café. When Lars Hänsch-Petersen visits friends in the greater Hamburg area, it can add up to a one-way distance of 25 kilometers.

There are more electric scooters here


The BMW CE 04 looks like it was designed for “Star Wars”. Attention is guaranteed.

That’s what I like about the BMW CE 04

First of all: the optics. I like it when manufacturers conjure up something of their own instead of going with the taste of the masses. The CE 04 is an eye-catcher. At the traffic light, there are admiring looks and thumbs up from passers-by. The seating position and the ergonomics fit well. I sit comfortably and can put both feet firmly on the floor when stopping.

The TFT display of the BMW CE 04 is convincing

The center of gravity is low and the wheelbase is long. This ensures good driving stability and allows the CE 04 to roll smoothly. The TFT display has really succeeded. It inspires with a great resolution and is easy to read even in direct sunlight. Anyone who has ever ridden a BMW two-wheeler will immediately feel at home in the menu. The logic for all the others opens up with just a few clicks.
The concept makes sense to me: You take 40 battery cells from car construction and construct a pretty scooter around them. This has already worked with the C Evolution and works just as well with the CE 04.

The BMW can be easily charged at the wall box (picture), at the charging station and at the Schuko socket.

The driving behavior and the tuning fit the name BMW. The CE 04 feels good in the hand and drives with great precision. You can speed through the traffic in a wonderfully dynamic way and after a few kilometers you feel like the Vespa pilot from the Italian TV film. The maximum 42 hp accelerate the Bavarian to up to 120 km/h. This way you are guaranteed not to feel like a traffic obstruction.

The “Road” driving mode offers the widest driving range

Of the driving modes, “Road” appeals to me the most. Everything goes from comfortable to fast. Above all, the mode offers the advantage that the CE 04 does not start marching off like crazy at the traffic lights. The driver in front of you needs an extra second before he sees the green light. Not having to clutch has its own appeal. The CE 04 can be charged at the wall box, the charging station and the socket.

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That goes a bit past “urban”. The battery of the BMW CE 04 cannot be removed for charging.

I don’t like that about the BMW CE 04

Even though I know why you can’t remove the CE 04’s battery for charging, I regret it. My apartment is on the third floor and I don’t have a chance to charge the BMW at home. Sure, there are countless charging stations in Hamburg. But they are often occupied, parked or something doesn’t work. It’s not BMW’s fault, but it potentially limits my mobility.

Why does the CE 04 not have hill start assist?

I also miss hill start assist like the BMW GS. The CE 04 tips the scales at 231 kilograms. There is a reverse gear for easier handling. But when I’m standing on a slope, I have to use the brake to stop the scooter from rolling away. This is no drama. But it makes me wonder why the programmers didn’t take that little extra step.
Speaking of reverse gear: If I want to reverse, I can press and hold a button on the left of the handlebars and then accelerate on the right. So far, so logical. But I would prefer it if the reverse button would click into place. Because then I can slip and the scooter then involuntarily makes a small leap forward.
Driving in pairs is definitely fun. Here, however, the CE 04 shows small weaknesses.

That’s CE-04 driving in pairs

For one person, the BMW CE 04 is a great vehicle. If you are traveling with two people, it weakens a bit or it shows where the spacey design was at the expense of practicality in details.
Biggest point of criticism: The hump in the middle of the seat. It belongs at the end so that the passenger gets a feel for where the seat ends. Currently, one or the other clinging in panic to the person behind the handlebars when starting off.
The paint directly above the footrests for the pillion passenger is chic and completely unproblematic with soft sneakers and the same kind of trouser legs. If, for example, a lady sits in the back whose boots have zippers on the inside, there may be scratches.

The helmet compartment is illuminated like the trunk of a car. But only the cable (picture) or the helmet fits in.

It needs an additional storage place for the helmet

The compartment under the seat fits either a helmet or the charging cable. If I drive through the city and have the charging cable with me, I have to decide at a stop whether I should take the helmet or the cable with me to the supermarket, for example. That’s not ideal. I would be happy about one or two lockable helmet loops on the seat.

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