Yamaha Electric Motorcycles
Electric bicycles are a notoriously uncool means of transportation. Often cumbersome, slow, and expensive, they seem to offer the worst of both worlds: minimal speed and practicality combined with the fact that, despite being on a bicycle, the rider is doing pretty much no exercise.
However, there is an alternative; one that has recently been making a great deal of progress in the electric vehicle market: the electric motorcycle. Mass production versions of these have been around for a few years now, most notably those manufactured by US companies Zero Motorcycles and Brammo. Whilst big sellers, though, these companies are relatively young, and are unable to pull in as many customers as more established brands.
And one established brand which is in the process of entering the electric motorcycle market is Yamaha, which recently announced a possible 2016 release date for two new models.
These are the Yamaha Electric PES1, standing for passion, electric, street (not Pro Evo Soccer), and the Yamaha Electric PED1 (short for passion, electric, dirt). Concept versions of these two models were showcased at the Tokyo Motor Show last year, where the former weighed around 221lb, and the latter 187lb. The top speed of the concept PES1 was reported to be around 62mph, although the production version is expected to be a great deal faster. After all, two likely rivals to Yamaha in this market – Zero Motorcycles and Brammo – both have models in production which are capable of reaching 100mph. Regardless of their top speed, though, the lightness of the chassis combined with the powerful electric motor is likely to result in impressive acceleration and something that’s exciting to ride.
In addition, the two motorcycles are likely to feature removable lithium-ion batteries. This may not sound remarkable, but it may result in customers being able to purchase a second battery in order to double the vehicle’s range for long journeys. Both concept models also featured a transmission with both manual and electric modes although, again, this may not necessarily be true of the production models.
Nonetheless, the entry of Yamaha into the world of the electric motorcycle could result in a huge boost to the market, just in the same way BMW made with last year’s i3.