Yamaha Motiv EV Gets Revealed in Tokyo (w/video + lots of images)


Production of this Smart Fortwo Electric Drive competitor could get underway in 2016.  If that were to happen, then we believe that Smart would have a real challenge selling the Fortwo ED with this Yamaha Motiv out there, too.  Or maybe not.

Yamaha Motiv Debut At The Tokyo Motor Show 2013

Yamaha Motiv Debut At The Tokyo Motor Show 2013

The Yamaha Motiv concept just hit the stage at the 2013 Tokyo Motor Show, but it’s been a work in progress for years now.

The Motiv is adapted from the Gordon Murray (of McLaren F1 fame) lineup of uber-effiicient city cars.

The Motiv is the first vehicle to use Murray’s patented i-Stream production process, which is claimed to be far less costly than traditional methods, yet results in a lighter, more rigid and easier to assemble vehicle.

In electric form, the Motiv features Zytec components and is rear-wheel-drive.  It’s believed to put out close to 33 hp and have a top speed of approximately 65 mph.  0 to 60 mph is in the 15-second area.

The specs clearly make this a city-only EV and pale in comparison to the currently available Smart Fortwo ED.

Our belief is that unless Yamaha can find some more quickness and top speed in the Motiv, it’s not a vehicle worthy of production.

It sure does look sweet though, in a quirky sort of Japanese way.

Gallery: Shots From Floor Of Tokyo Motor Show 2013

Gallery: Double Click to Enlarge



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15 Comments on "Yamaha Motiv EV Gets Revealed in Tokyo (w/video + lots of images)"

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“Our belief is that unless Yamaha can find some more quickness and top speed in the Motiv, it’s not a vehicle worthy of production.”

If I had a dime for every $10+k EV runabout that can’t do 70mph got announced…

Hell, I’d settle for 65mph like the first gen fortwo ED.

Lol, what a joke

I think it looks like a futuristic Smart4Two. I don’t mind the looks, but the specs are pathetic.


I think it actually looks pretty cool. And if the price were right, I’d buy one. But when I say price being right, it would have to be around $15,000 so that after the tax incentive the net cost to me would be around $8,000.

I’ll bet this vehicle would sell well in its home market: Japan.

For the love of God, give it more hp, top speed of at least 75 MPH, and 0-60 in the 10 sec range. Is that asking so much???????
It’s got the looks, but sheeeeeeesh!

And double the price?

If it’s so cheap to manufacture, they should have room to at least bump it up to Smart Ed specs and still undersell the ED.

As it is, it’s pretty much useless, no matter how inexpensive it is.

That depends.. When they say top speed of 65, I wonder if that speed is computer limited, or is it power limited. If it is power limited then that means 65 mph is a “best case” speed which means going uphill or against a strong wind means you will not be able to achieve 65. That would suck.

Having said that. If it is computer limited at 65, I could probably live with that. I usually keep my speed at 65 or less to conserve power when driving my Leaf. So I could tolerate 65 as a top speed.

Being as this is a city car, it’s true that 65 MPH is ok as top speed; it’s the 15 secs 0-60 that leaves me cold, and I can imagine (since we don’t have specs) that the range is anemic as well.

It may be fine for Japan as it is, but, as good-looking as it is, they could easily have success with this in the States, if it is at least as fast as a Smart ED, and can match (or exceed? Please?) the ED’s range.

Finally! A small EV that looks different, but in a good way!

I don’t know guys, I had a lot of fun with 36 and 40 hp VW Beetles bought used in my teenage years. My biggest concern would be range. Living in the northeast, a Smart42EV will give me around 60 miles in the spring and fall, and maybe 20-30 miles in the winter time. The lack of hp is tolerable but the lack of range is not.

I test drove the Mercedes-Based S42 last weekend, and its a fun little buggy. Can’t buy it until they put more battery in it though.

Definitely a city car. Could sell well in Japan or Europe where you are likely to find more people who would want a city car as there only car.