Yamaha is racing with new e-bikes

A new era of electric mobility

Let’s face it, fossil fuels are becoming less and less fashionable.

We’ve seen smaller players like Lifan make inroads into the electric commuter market, while BMW has a fantastic electric scooter and California-based company Zero has a whole range of electric motorcycles. Even Harley-Davidson has an all-electric machine called Livewire.

This week, Japanese giants Yamaha joined the foray with an exciting announcement of a brand new line of electric machines.

The company broke its silence and responded to rumors about its EV plans, committing Yamaha to provide solutions to the e-bike challenge with a new concept known as “Switch ON”.

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

First up, the brand new Neo’s. It will be similar in size and power 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 Motor Show, so we expected something to be hiding.

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The B01 combines the S-Pedelec functionality of the e-bike with the performance of the moped

The B01 combines the S-Pedelec functionality of the e-bike with the performance of the moped

There will also be a more powerful 125cc equivalent scooter that will use some of the company’s very latest technology. This is the one we really can’t wait to see. It is derived from the E01 prototype, also presented in Tokyo the same year.

Yamaha has actually been building e-bike drive units for over 30 years now. This branch of electric vehicle development dates back to the early 1990s, when the company created the first Power Assist System, a system that formed the basis of the world’s first production electric bicycle.

Since then, Yamaha has been at the forefront of developing lightweight and compact electric drive units for e-bikes, producing an impressive seven million things over three decades.

As demand for these e-bikes has continued to grow, particularly here in Europe where over five million were sold last year, a huge number of which were powered by Yamaha-built drive units, the company decided to increase its production capacity and start producing drive units under the Yamaha brand here in Europe.

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

Yamaha also unveiled a new prototype in the form of the new B01. This is an all-new hybrid machine that works by combining S-Pedelec ebike functionality with moped performance and smart off-road capability.

It is currently a concept model that was created by Yamaha Motor Europe in association with long-time Italian partners Fantic Motor and Motori Minarelli.

The future looks bright, clean… and very calm.

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About Rachelle Roosevelt

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