Yamaha E01 electric scooter concept set for reality

Yamaha E01 2021
Yamaha E01 2021

It was back in 2019 that Yamaha took the wraps off their E01 concept scooter at the Tokyo Motor Show. Now, nearly two years on, a production version of the same bike is on the verge of being launched.

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It might look like a conventional twist-and-go but the E01 is going to be Yamaha’s most impressive electric production model yet and details of the showroom version’s design have been revealed via a rush of new patent applications from the firm.

Yamaha are trying to get rights on at least five separate innovations, which aim to bring all the benefits of battery power while minimising the usual downsides of electric bikes.

The production E01, which we know will carry the same name as the concept bike as Yamaha has already trademarked the badge, will be instantly recognisable to anyone familiar with the concept even though every panel is tweaked.

The patents show that the overall shape and style is retained, but the production model has a toned-down design, particularly around the seat.

Where the concept’s entire tail was wrapped in cloth-style seat material, the final version gets more conventional plastic panels around a normal, lift-up seat, with practicalities like pillion grips built into the bodywork.

Yamaha E01 electric scooter concept patent drawing

The engineering patents show that Yamaha has put particular effort into maximising under-seat space. The electric motor is mounted slightly above and behind the front sprocket, driven via a reduction gearset, and one of the firm’s patents relates to details of the motor mounts, which are designed to free-up underseat room.

The rest of the electronics are mounted inline ahead of the motor and transmission. Directly ahead of the motor sits the speed controller, cooled via a dedicated pipe that channels air from behind the front wheel. In front of that lies the battery pack and electronics.

The battery itself is also subject to a patent application. It’s fitted in a plastic case and permanently bolted into the tubular steel frame from below.

The layout puts its control circuitry into the same case, ahead of the main battery pack, which allows the front to be narrower than the rear. That means the cables can be attached to the sides without adding to the overall width.

The result is that while the E01’s battery hump means it’s not a true step-through scooter, the electronics don’t encroach on the under-seat space or eat into any storage opportunities in the fairing on the front of the bike.

Yamaha charge towards electric with trio of battery-powered concepts

First published on 10 October 2019 by Jordan Gibbons

Yamaha E01 original 2019 concept

Yamaha have unveiled three electric motorbike concepts that could be the perfect city runarounds. 

Unveiled ahead of the Tokyo Motor Show, which starts on Wednesday, October 23, the three bikes join the TY-E electric trials concept in Yamaha’s electric portfolio, as they join Honda in becoming the second major Japanese brand to make strides towards electrification.

The major model they have unveiled is the catchily named Yamaha E01, and its radical looks hide what the company say is a remarkably practical scooter. 

Details on the bike are scarce but Yamaha say the scoot has power output equivalent to a 125cc scooter (about 14bhp to us) and that it’s fast-charge compatible. 

They also say it provides plenty of range although stop short of giving any key figures, but we’d imagine 100km (60 miles) will have been a key target. Despite this one taking top billing, however, the Yamaha E02 is arguably the more exciting machine.

Described as the ‘next-generation electric commuter bike’, the E02 is smaller, with power output roughly the same as a 50cc scooter. 

What’s more interesting is that the batteries are removable, so we can only assume this is the first fruits of Yamaha’s deal with Gogoro: a Taiwanese scooter manufacturer who already produce a battery-swap scooter. 

Gogoro’s machine, the Smartscooter 2, has two 9kg batteries under the seat that, when fully charged, give it a range of 100km. It weighs 112kg fully loaded and the electric motor puts out 6.4kW giving it a top speed of 58mph. 

Yamaha E02 electric scooter concept

The Smartscooter 2 also has some clever security tech: on top of the usual ignition key, the bike also makes use of fingerprint scanning in your phone to ensure that even if someone steals the key or forces the lock, they can’t get it started. 

They sell in Taiwan for just over £1200 however if Yamaha bring a bike like this to the UK, we’d expect it to cost considerably more.

As well as the two scooters, Yamaha have also unveiled the YPJ-YZ, which is an electric mountain bike that borrows some design ideas of their YZ motocross machines. 

Yamaha YPJ-YZ electric mountain bike

Yamaha unveiled a variety of machines ahead of the show, plus all sort of other ideas including a self-driving four-wheeled off-roader

However they have also announced that they will unveil another two bikes when the show opens later this month, so you’ll have to come back to find out what Yamaha have up their sleeves.

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Ben Purvis

By Ben Purvis