Yamaha electric scooter, motorcycle in the making – Made in Africa, for Africa and exports
The electric two wheeler in question in expected to be ready by 2022.
Yamaha Motor Research and Development Africa (YMRI) is currently working with other R&D units of Yamaha Motor Corporation (YMC) from across the globe to develop an all new electric two wheeler platform which will not only be suitable for Africa but also for global markets. The development has been confirmed by Yasuo Ishihara, Managing Director, YMRI.
Autocar Professional reports that a team of about hundred engineers from Africa, Japan, and possibly other R&D units of YMC (Italy, Taiwan, China and Thailand) is working on developing the said electric two wheeler platform. Without divulging much details, Mr. Ishihara said that Yamaha is currently setting up alliances with various key suppliers for EVs.
YMRI is expected to play a key role in developing the new electric two wheeler platform given the sheer size of the African two wheeler market and the government’s push to increase electric vehicle penetration in both two and four wheeler segments. Fellow Japanese two wheeler giant Suzuki is also currently developing an electric two wheeler (a scooter to be more precise) which is slated to be introduced in our market in 2020-21.
While it’s too early to say whether Yamaha’s electric two wheeler is going to be a motorcycle or a scooter, the product appears to have roughly the same timeframe for its African launch as the electric Suzuki.
Mr. Ishihara recently visited Taiwan to understand the electric two wheeler market scenario and he revealed that the R&D team is considering battery swapping concept as a potential energy option. Battery swapping enables the owner to get back to full charge more or less in similar duration as filling up the tank at a fuel station.
The race to develop electric two wheelers for African market is only going to get intense once the BS-VI emission norms kick in. Apart from Suzuki and Yamaha, other OEMs like TVS, Hero MotoCorp, Bajaj, and even Royal Enfield has made their interest in electric two wheelers pretty clear.