Yamaha shifts greener motorcycle strategy in favour of ethanol, not EVs

  • Yamaha India is aiming to focus on flex-fuel engine technology while the Indian two-wheeler industry is increasingly emphasising on electric mobility.
Yamaha Blue Square Showroom
Yamaha India is aiming to focus on flex-fuel engine technology while the Indian two-wheeler industry is increasingly emphasising on electric mobility.
Yamaha Blue Square Showroom
Yamaha India is aiming to focus on flex-fuel engine technology while the Indian two-wheeler industry is increasingly emphasising on electric mobility.

While the two-wheeler manufacturers in India are thriving for electric mobility, Yamaha India is aiming big with ethanol-based flex fuels, reported Mint. This comes as a more conservative approach towards greener mobility, considering the peers are focusing on pure electric two-wheelers. The report has quoted Eishin Chihana, Chairman of Yamaha Motor India, saying that anticipating a 0 per cent adoption rate for electric scooters by the end of this decade, the company is betting on a holistic approach to cleaner emission technologies and this strategy will be led by ethanol-based flex fuels.

Chihana stated that the OEM's primary strategy to meet its emissions targets revolves around flex-fuel (E85) options for motorcycles, acknowledging the global shift towards sustainable fuels. He also stated that this strategy will help the OEM avoid the infrastructural and technological challenges of full electrification. This shift of strategy comes in line with the government's focus on cleaner mobility solutions, which also include flex-fuel engines propelled by ethanol-blended petrol.

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Interestingly, Yamaha India's Chairman's comment comes immediately after the former Niti Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant called for full electrification of the two-wheeler and three-wheeler segment by 2030. Instead of focusing on pure electric propulsion tch, Chihana advocated for technologies like ethanol-blended fuels to achieve the country's emission targets.

Considering the current market share of electric scooters at five to six per cent Yamaha India expects EVs to grow to 20 per cent of the scooter market in India by 2030, he said. “While 20 per cent of the market will become EV, 70-80 per cent will remain internal combustion engine. So, our Target 2030 is while we prepare for EVs, we will certainly increase our step-up models with ICE engines. We are preparing, but we are not in a hurry. Our focus remains on developing our premium motorcycle dealership network and targeting the younger generation with our urban, sporty motorcycles. Our first priority is to establish premium motorcycle dealerships across India," he further added.

Speaking further, the Yamaha official said that despite the high petrol prices driving faster adoption of electric scooters, consumer behaviour remains largely unaffected due to usage patterns and infrastructure challenges. Interestingly, despite emphasising its intention to focus on flex-fuel engines, Yamaha plans to introduce two electric scooters by 2030. Besides that, the OEM intends to enhance its premium motorcycle strategy and distribution network as well over the next six years, Chihana said.

First Published Date: 11 Apr 2024, 07:18 AM IST
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