When Yamaha announced that the company would unveil two electric scooters for both the European and Asian markets next year, they also shared which concepts the new scooters would be drawn from. It turns out that the Yamaha E01 and E02 electric scooter concepts will both be headed for production.
Yamaha first unveiled the E01 and E02 electric scooter concepts at the 2019 Tokyo Motor Show.
At the time they were just that: concepts.
Yamaha had previously made slight inroads toward electric scooter development, but usually with outside help like a partnership with electric scooter maker Gogoro.
But the concepts unveiled at the 2019 Tokyo Motor Show demonstrated Yamaha’s intentions to develop fully electric two-wheelers by itself.
Nearly two years went by without a peep about the project, leading many to question Yamaha’s commitment to its own in-house electric motorcycles and scooters.
But back in May, we were surprised to find patent images that revealed a largely production-ready version of Yamaha’s E01 electric scooter.
With Yamaha’s recent announcement about 2022 production plans for European and Asian e-scooters, the pieces have finally fallen into place.
The E01 electric scooter will be a 125cc class equivalent, though we don’t yet know the scooter’s official tech specs.
It will likely have a power output of 11 kW (15 hp) or less to fit into the corresponding light electric scooter regulatory class in Europe.
Similar electric scooters often have top speeds of around 56 mph (90 km/h).
Patent images showed a large, non-removable battery pack mounted in the center of the frame and taking up a large portion of the area where a traditional scooter’s step-through area would be.
The motor is mounted just aft of the battery with a chain or belt drive linking it to the rear wheel.
A charger port is also visible on the front of the scooter, allowing for convenient charging with nose-in parking.
The Yamaha E02 electric scooter is a smaller format vehicle that is expected to fall into the 50cc class equivalent.
That means it could likely have a lower power motor of up to 4 kW (5.3 hp) and a slower top speed of around 45 km/h (28 mph).
The scooter may be smaller, but it still offers seating for two riders and interesting design choices like a single-sided rear swingarm.
The E02 is also likely to feature removable batteries, since the smaller packs would be lighter weight and also have less capacity, thus requiring more convenient charging solutions.
Yamaha’s past partnerships with Gogoro might mean that the iconic green-and-black Gogoro batteries would adorn the scooter.
Yamaha has yet to announce an exact date for either scooter’s production version unveiling. However, the company seems pretty confident that 2022 is the year for its newest electric scooters to finally roll out across Asia and Europe.
Well, it’s about time!
Yamaha makes just about everything else under the sun. Yamaha will make you a trombone or golf clubs or a bathtub. They make motorcycles and they even make electric bicycles. Is a modern electric scooter too much to ask?
Yamaha’s R&D department should have been cranking these things out years ago. They’ve publicly been working on electric motorcycle batteries for at least two and a half years, and realistically probably longer in private.
So I’ve got some built-up resentment against Yamaha and the rest of the Big Four (Honda, Suzuki, and Kawasaki) for dragging their collective feet on EVs.
But the good news is that all four seem to be making begrudging progress.
It may be too little, but it’s not too late.
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