Yamaha’s New Electric Motorcycles Are Coming Soon

4 weeks ago by Rideapart.com 22

Back in 2013, Yamaha announced that they were working on a pair of electric bikes called the PED1 and the PES1. Now it appears that Team Blue is on the verge of production for both models.

Apparently the company recently made arrangements with Saitama City in Japan to promote electric motorcycles and businesses around them, indicating that production is not far off. The campaign, titled the E-KIZUNA Project, will promote the electrics as practical solutions to urban issues like traffic congestion, parking, and pollution. One of the key elements in overcoming public resistance to electrics is the bikes’ swappable battery packs, since the foremost concerns among potential consumers have been limited range and slow charging times.

The promotional campaign also includes a network of charging stations where depleted batteries can be swapped for fresh ones. The stations will maintain an inventory of fully-charged batteries and re-charge used ones for the next cycle.

The PED1

While several manufacturers have shown progress in extending battery life and range and reducing re-charge times, Yamaha’s quick-change battery packs may well forecast a similar approach throughout the industry. According to Motorcycle-Magazine.com, Yamaha did not indicate whether or not the pre-production models included an optional charger for the buyer, or a plug-in feature that would allow recharging the batteries at home.

Currently, Yamaha offers only the E-Vino as an electric option, which bears a marked styling resemblance to the Honda Metropolitan. Released in Asian markets three years ago, the E-Vino was
clearly limited to city applications, with a range of 18 miles and top speed of 19 mph. That appears likely to change in the near future, and the new Yamaha PE models may be on sale by next year.

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22 responses to "Yamaha’s New Electric Motorcycles Are Coming Soon"

  1. Tman says:

    Ok this is just ridiculous. This mindset of batteries are not there yet is what the Japanese automakers have been using as an excuse to delay bringing EVs to market and it appears the Motorcycle makers are towing the same line.

    Meanwhile Zero motorcycles have been updating their bikes constantly. The only area that remains a challenge for them is price. And to think the Japanese bike, makers are the technology pioneers. Smhh.

    1. me says:

      I really like Zero’s offerings and have come really close to buying one but they’re really just for commuters and folks who take short trips. Lots of riders in the US buy motorcycles for recreation, not commuting to work, and they’re just not good enough for anything more than a short trip around town.

      1. Kent says:

        I don’t disagree with you, but I bought my 2016 Zero SR solely for commuting. I commute 74 miles round-trip daily and in the past 18 months have put over 21,000 miles on it. It is great for commuting since I don’t need to go to the gas station every other day. The only maintenance during this time is one new set of tires.

      2. Steven says:

        2015 Zero SR here, I’ve only spent half a year in the shop for warranty work, and hours trying to get a contact that will reply to me about getting a refund for my lemon. No go.

        Buy a zero if you have other vehicles to commute with, if you get a lemon, you’re stuck with it and no loaner bike or refund!

  2. Texas FFE says:

    I was kind of excited when I first saw this article then I got kind of sick when I read about plans for replacement battery stations. Replacement battery stations will never work. Motorcycle manufacturers need to focus on charging speed and adapting to the existing and future DCFC networks.

    1. GSP says:

      +1

      My thoughts exactly.

      GSP

  3. me says:

    “One of the key elements in overcoming public resistance to electrics is the bikes’ swappable battery packs”

    No, it isn’t. Swappable batteries are really only good for folks who haul their bikes to their destination and ride for short periods while there (e.g. track day, off roading).

    1. me says:

      Never mind. I missed the part about swappable stations. I still think that idea sucks though, especially for the US where we’ll never see such an infrastructure.

  4. Bret says:

    I’ve been riding my old XR-250 forever and am looking to go electric next time.

    I looked at the KTM FreeRide-E, but it’s only available in Europe. I’ve also looked at the Zero cycles, but they are way too expensive. I’m probably going to hold out for a couple of years and get one that has more range and is less expensive. It’s great to see Honda and Yamaha working on them.

    I also like the idea of a removable battery pack, so I can charge a couple of them up for a weekend. I could also charge one while I’m riding the other.

    1. me says:

      KTM just started selling the FreeRide E-XC in the US but only at a small number of dealers. Keep in mind that the range is extremely small. You’ll only get an hour or 2 out of it. It’s meant for folks who have trails right in their back yard or are willing to haul their bikes.

      Yeah, Zero’s are just way too expensive still. Nice bikes though.

      1. scott says:

        The price of the 2017 Zero FX is the same as the price of the 2017 Honda CRF450R. I’m no sure how that qualifies as too expensive.

  5. Bret says:

    It would be awesome to ride a dirt bike out in nature that doesn’t make so much noise. It would be almost like riding a mountain bike.

    1. Vexar says:

      Except for the pedaling on climbs, right?

    2. mxs says:

      It already exists actually …

      http://freerider.kuberg.com/#kuberg-promo

      It’s very seriously built off-road toy …

  6. rad says:

    I’ve been riding an electric bicycle for 12 years. I have never wished I could have a swappable battery. Faster charging whilst I swig a soda at a convenience store, yes, swap no. I don’t want someone elses battery in my bike.

    Meanwhile the only Yamaha electric “motorcycle” has a top speed of 19 mph. My “bicycle” does 31 mph without any help from me. And that is with old school SLA batteries. This is all Yamaha can do with lithium? Honda keeps promising an e-Cub. Always a couple years down the road.

    They just don’t get it.

  7. rad says:

    I’ve been riding an electric bicycle for 12 years. I have never wished I could have a swappable battery. Faster charging whilst I swig a soda at a convenience store, yes, swap no. I don’t want someone elses battery in my bike.

    Meanwhile the only Yamaha electric “motorcycle” has a top speed of 19 mph. My “bicycle” does 31 mph without any help from me. And that is with old school SLA batteries. This is all Yamaha can do with lithium? Honda keeps promising an e-Cub. Always a couple years down the road.

    They just don’t get it.

    *May be on sale next year. Just like the Outlander PHEV. I’ll believe it when I see them in the showroom.

  8. Dan says:

    Keywords are “it appears” and “indicating”. Both Honda and Yamaha are playing the same PR game while while their Chinese, Taiwanese, European and US competitors are quickly moving past them.

    All these years of talking about, testing, racing electric motorcycles and not a single A1+ capable bike on offer? Shame! With their potential and aspirations they should have electric bikes in each category for several years already.

  9. Mark C says:

    Crotch Rockets may have a fair amount of sales, but until they make a cruiser style, the market will flounder, at best.

    1. Steven says:

      Cruisers don’t want that 0-60 in under 3 seconds torque. They want a 300 mile range, and 5 minute fill up. Even though they’ll never need it.

      1. wavelet says:

        300 mile range? ROFL. Name one ICE motorcycle that has that, except ~3 Adventure-touring models.
        Even touring motorcycles these days barely have a 200mi range.

  10. mxs says:

    Nice bike renders … the swap-able battery stations is just a silly statement with no future.

  11. wavelet says:

    Battery swaps for urban mopeds? Nope, because battery capacities/weights are already fine and cheap enough for (sub)urban commute distances & speeds, and then a 5-hour overnight charge on a cheap charger.

    For actual long-distance motorcycle travel? No, because it’ll never be cost-efficient enough to support enough non-highway location, which is where motorcycle trips are worth doing.
    Range will need to improve ~50% via a combo of aerodynamics and battery improvement, and decent charging speeds will need to fix the rest.

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