Yamaha Motor set to unveil new electric scooters for Asia, Europe next year
Yamaha Motor Company will unveil new electric scooters for Asian and European markets next year as the Japanese motorcycle company looks to deliver greener products. It will begin by offering small electric scooters in Europe.
The two-wheeler company will also lease medium-sized bikes in Europe, Japan, China, Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand from March next year, Chief Executive Officer Yoshihiro Hidaka said at a briefing. These scooters will come based on the company's E01, E02 concept models that were unveiled at 2019 Tokyo Motor Show.
The global market for electric scooters and motorcycles is set to expand about 33% annually from 2021 to 2030, as per a report by Quince Market Insights. Yamaha and various other motorcycle manufacturers are betting big on this trend as more and more people will avoid public transport during the pandemic-era, boosting demand for bikes. "There are strong requests for EV scooters from Europe... City structures are changing and they won’t go back (to pre-pandemic times)", said Hidaka, adding that European cities are adding more parking spots for bikes instead of cars.
Yamaha aims to electrify 90% of its lineup by 2050. Its rival Kawasaki plans to mostly offer EVs and hybrids in advanced markets by 2035. While the former hasn't yet decided the prices and ranges for the EV scooters, the range are expected to be longer than its current EV commuter E-Vino, which runs about 30 kilometers on a single charge.
Hidaka also said that the company will focus its resources on its core businesses and invest more in sustainable businesses. "There will be a future when electric vehicles are cheaper than gasoline ones," he said. However, he noted that bringing down costs, especially for batteries, is one of the biggest challenges.
Yamaha is also facing challenges caused by the disruptions to the global supply chain. Despite demand being strong, inventories are not falling in line. Price hikes of raw materials such as aluminum, rubber and resin will likely pressure profits, Hidaka mentioned.
(with inputs from Bloomberg)