Green machines | 

Yamaha charges ahead with new electric bikes

Yamaha's new 125cc-equivalent ebike will be derived from the E01 prototype unveiled by Yamaha in Tokyo in 2019

Teh B01combinines ebike S-Pedelec functionality with moped performance

Paul Browne

A new era in electric mobility

Let’s face it, fossil fuels are just getting a whole lot less fashionable.

We’ve seen smaller players like Lifan make inroads into the electric commuter market, while BMW has a fantastic electric scooter available and Californian Company Zero have a whole range of electric motorcycles on offer. Even Harley-Davidson has an entirely electric machine called the Livewire.

This week Japanese giants Yamaha joined the foray with an exciting announcement regarding a whole new range of electric machines.

The company has broken its silence and answered the rumours regarding its EV plans , committing Yamaha to delivering solutions to the challenge of electric bikes with new concept known as ‘Switch ON’.

This week Yamaha revealed details of its future electric models, with a whole range of these things available.

First up is the all new Neo’s. This will be similar in size and power output to a 50cc machine and is designed for use in an urban environment. We had already seen this as a prototype at the 2019 Tokyo show so we were expecting something to break cover.

Teh B01combinines ebike S-Pedelec functionality with moped performance

There will also be a more powerful, 125cc-equivalent scooter that will use some of the company’s very latest technology. This is one that we are really looking forward to seeing. It is derived from the E01 prototype, which was also shown in Tokyo in the same year.

Yamaha has effectively been building ebike drive units for more than 30 years now. This branch of electric vehicle development goes all the way back to the early 1990s, when the company created the first Power Assist System, a system which formed the basis of the world’s first production ebike.

Since then Yamaha has been at the forefront in the development of lightweight and compact electric drive units for ebikes, producing a staggering seven million of the things in three decades.

As the demand for these ebikes has continued to grow, particularly here in Europe where over five million were sold last year, an awful lot of which were powered by Yamaha-built drive units, the company has decided to expand its production capacity and start producing drive units under the Yamaha brand here in Europe.

Yamaha is now launching three new own-brand ebikes, designed for the mountain, gravel and urban segments. While the full details of these machines won’t be revealed until later in the summer, they will start to be available before the end of the year.

Yamaha has also revealed a new prototype in the shape of the new B01. This is a whole new hybrid machine that works by combining ebike S-Pedelec functionality with moped performance and a clever all-urban-terrain ability.

It’s currently a concept model which has been created by Yamaha Motor Europe in association with long-term Italian partners Fantic Motor and Motori Minarelli.

The future looks bright, clean… and very quiet.

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