Yamaha gets serious about electric vehicles

Posted by Nino Marchetti, EarthTechling

Yamaha is looking to showcase at the upcoming Tokyo Motor Show not one, but five electric, two-wheeled rides all described as reference vehicle/prototypes. Four of them are best classified as full electric scooters or motorcycles, while the last one is an electrically power assisted bicycle.

The first two offerings are the PES1 (street sport) and PED1 (dirt sport) motorcycle concepts. Both are said to keep “the same operational feel that current motorcycle riders are used to,” though likely without the loud engine noise. Each is powered by a removable lithium-ion battery, and makes use of its power unit in double duty as a body frame. Key features of these two models include DC brushless electric motors, a transmission which can be switched between manual/automatic and various types of smartphone information service functions.

PES1 (image via Yamaha)

PES1 (image via Yamaha)

Joining them is Evino, envisioned as an electric scooter that’s designed for short range commuting “with all the necessary functions” one might need for such trips while also being affordable. It builds upon Yamaha’s popular Vino scooter with the retro-pop styling, and features

environmentally friendly performance supplemented by smooth acceleration from the precisely controlled motor and optimized front-rear weight balance to ensure excellent handling performance even at low speeds. Also, consideration for recharging the vehicle is present with the removable battery and built-in regenerative charging system.

It, like the motorcycles, is powered by lithium-ion technology that energizes a DC brushless electric motor.

Another concept idea for Yamaha it will be showcasing in the electric vehicle space focuses upon kids. The Ekids is essentially an electric scooter via a modularized Evino power unit and “features a motor with electronic control designed for an easy-to-use and friendly feeling to the ride.” It is seem as something that could even be ridden indoors.

YPJ-01 (image via Yamaha)

YPJ-01 (image via Yamaha)

Rounding out all of this is the YPJ-01 Epislon Project power assist bike. It was created for the 20th anniversary of Yamaha’s production of these types of cycles, and is said to combine “the smallest and lightest class of drive unit and battery with a beautiful, sporty frame.” The 22-speed bike makes use of a center mounted, 250 w electric motor to help riders when they need a little extra boost. One key feature is a “function that links the bicycle’s information with a smartphone, giving the user more ways to enjoy the ride.”

* Nino Marchetti, EarthTechling