Suzuki’s greener future: Japanese firm commit to eight EVs by 2030 and investment in e-fuel technology

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Suzuki are taking their first steps into an eco-friendlier future – announcing that they will be introducing their first electric model in 2024 and that they will have eight EV models by 2030.

“The [Suzuki] factory have had a commitment for a long time to carbon neutrality, but this is the first time that they’ve made it public,” Suzuki GB’s Director of Motorcycles Paul De Lusignan told MCN. “Personally, I am delighted to see the factory make that statement publicly and make our commitment clear.”

A statement released on Thursday, January 27, 2023 announced that Suzuki would bring a new electric motorcycle to market in 2024 for the small to mid-size sector. A total of eight plug-in models are then set to appear by 2030.

Previous Suzuki electric prototype

To back up the claims, Suzuki say they will invest £12.4bn in R&D and a further £15.5bn in capital expenditures by 2030 with £3.1bn of that to be used for battery-related investments. This money covers all of Suzuki’s operations, not just motorcycles, but is a good indication of their intent to continue making motorbikes.

De Lusignan could not confirm at this stage whether the first electric model would be coming to the UK but added: “What we are seeing in Europe and in the UK is a real push towards carbon neutrality or zero emissions, so there is pressure to bring stuff to the UK.”

It’s not all about electric bikes though, with the announcement leaving the door open for E-fuels in larger capacity bikes, with a focus on carbon neutrality rather than just tailpipe emissions.

Paul DeLusignan profile picture

“They’re talking about three different options really around internal combustion engines,” the Suzuki GB boss added. “They’re talking about compressed natural gas, biogas, and an ethanol mix and all three of those being potential ways to create carbon neutral internal combustion engines.

“We’re researching and doing work around all of those, and I think in the future what comes to any market will be partly dependant on the infrastructure in the market, partly dependant on the regulations in the market.”

During an interview at the Eicma international trade show, Motorcycling Marketing Group Manager for Europe, North America, and Oceania, Nobuo Fuji told MCN that one of the reasons they left MotoGP at the end of 2022 was to focus more on sustainability.

Suzuki released images of this prototype electric model in the past

He said: “Carbon neutrality is not only electrification. At the moment, Suzuki is considering various possibilities, depending on the engine capacity.”

Suzuki ditched GP to go green – Marketing boss clarifies decision to leave racing

First published 01 December 2022 by Dan Sutherland

Suzuki's stand at Eicma 2022

Suzuki bosses have confirmed to MCN that they quit MotoGP to divert time and resources into the development of future sustainability.

“One of the reasons was to re-invest in carbon neutrality,” revealed Motorcycling Marketing Group Manager for Europe, North America, and Oceania, Nobuo Fujii. “Carbon neutrality is not only electrification. At the moment, Suzuki is considering various possibilities, depending on the engine capacity.”

Mr Fujii was joined by Suzuki GB’s Director of Motorcycles, Paul de Lusignan, who added: “I think one of the things when you talk about leaving MotoGP and the resource that provides is we’re looking to where we need to be with carbon neutrality.

Nobuo Fujii speaks with MCN

“So, our investment is about that kind of bike and what that needs to be in the future in a Suzuki range, in order to come along with where society and legislation are going.” 

Alongside discussing a greener future, the Suzuki boss also hinted that more new models could arise from the latest Euro5 776cc parallel-twin platform powering the 2023 GSX-8S naked and V-Strom 800DE adventure range.

Mr Fujii continued: “From a manufacturing point of view, once we produce and develop a completely new motorcycle it’s better for us to make full use of the motorcycle we have created.”

He refused to be drawn on whether this could include a sportier rival to Yamaha’s R7 or Aprilia’s RS660 – both middleweight parallel-twins whose engines can also be found in sporty naked and adventure models.

Suzuki GB boss dispels rumours of leaving the two-wheeled market

First published 21 July 2022 by Dan Sutherland

Paul DeLusignan profile picture

Suzuki GB’s Director of Motorcycles, Paul de Lusignan has shrugged off rumours that the Japanese brand is planning to exit the two-wheeled market, promising new platforms and model updates are on the way.  

“I can understand why some customers may think those rumours and might say that, but actually when I talk to our dealers and I talk to our staff, most people don’t feel that,” the Suzuki man told MCN. “I am in the privileged position of having some view on the future, so I feel 100% confident sitting here.” 

“When I see those rumours it’s easy for me to feel confident that they’re wrong because I know they’re wrong,” he added. “You will see bikes coming into the market that we’re not currently in, for sure.” 

Suzuki Endurance Racer mid-race

Fresh suggestions of Suzuki’s departure from motorcycles arrived on July 13, when the firm announced they would be pulling out of the Endurance World Championship at the end of the season. The release also confirmed they had come to an agreement with Dorna to exit MotoGP at the end of the year.

When asked whether UK staff were aware of the incoming racing updates, the Suzuki boss added: “No. The factory announces that stuff once they’ve finished those negotiations, so we found out at the same time as you. 

“It wasn’t a huge surprise, given that we’d already heard the news about MotoGP and given that we have a clear idea of the levels of investment needed for the future to bring new models to the market, so I think the strategy from top management is actually quite clear to us.”

Joan Mir celebrates winning the 2020 MotoGP title

Excluding the addition of two new 125cc scooters, the firm’s latest large capacity range updates – including the Hayabusa, GSX-S1000 range, Katana, and V-Strom 1050 – have all been updated to past models. The last fully redeveloped large-capacity Suzuki motorcycle to arrive in the UK was the latest GSX-R1000, back in 2017. 

This now looks set to change though, with de Lusignan claiming the money and resources saved by not racing will now be plunged into the development of fresh future motorcycles.  

“The ceasing of the racing is a commitment that we’re investing more time and energy and resources into the development of future products,” he said. “We will continue to bring new models to market and you will see new stuff from us.  

Suzuki world endurance champions lifting the trophy in front of crowd

“Racing in championships has given us new technologies that we’ve been able to use over the years,” de Lusignan added. “You’re at a pinnacle of engineering, so you’re always looking for the trickledown effect into production. 

“You don’t lose that information and knowledge the moment you stop racing and the engineers that have been doing that work are all going to be working in our production areas.” 

Although refusing to be drawn on exactly where that expertise would be used, the 53-year-old did confirm Suzuki would be moving into fresh markets.

Joan Mir edged closer to the MotoGP title in Valencia

“I can’t talk about future models that might come specifically, but generally what I would say is we’re aware of the changes in the market of course. 

“And the move away from sports bikes to adventure bikes and then to the popularity of middleweight bikes – we’ve seen that happening and we’re aware of that and we will be developing models that are going to appeal to customers in the future,” he added. 

“You will see bikes coming into the market that we’re not currently in, for sure.”  

All about combustion? 

Suzuki GSX-R1000R

Given the Government’s new proposals to ban the sale of combustion-engined bikes by 2035, we also asked Paul de Lusignan if Suzuki had made steps toward future sustainability.  

“We’re the only brand in the UK to have a 100% hybrid car range. No other car range can do that, so that shows the commitment we’ve got in that area,” he said. 

“There are lots of differences in motorcycles, in terms of the riding dynamics, how you provide the performance and excitement for riders at a price that’s affordable, so that’s a big part of the change.  

“But, for sure we’re going to see alternative propulsion methods – whether that’s electric or something else – coming in the range. Because, apart from anything else, legislation is going to demand it.”