Yamaha lays out a plan for the future: New models, new niches and new power sources

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Yamaha have outlined a plan that pushes the firm towards carbon neutrality by 2050. That’s a long way off but the firm gives strong hints about the models it’s working on right now.

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Interestingly Yamaha predict we shouldn’t be expecting a rush of mainstream electric superbikes anytime soon. The firm only targets 2.6% of riders to adopt electric by 2030, followed by a sharper increase to 20% by 2035 – which doesn’t bode well for the GUK Government's consultation on potentially banning the sale of petrol-powered bikes by 2035.

Yamaha expect 90% of their motorcycles to be electric by 2050, with some of the last holdouts using synthetic, carbon neutral (CN) liquid fuels. Higher compression ratios and variable valve actuation are also expected to improve the efficiency.

In the nearer term, though, Yamaha are working on electric vehicles that blur the lines between current classes, particularly with its passion for tilting, three-wheeled 'LMW' (leaning multi-wheel) models.

In the firm’s latest report, Yoshihiro Hidaka, Yamaha Motor’s President said: "We will aim to create new and unprecedented forms of mobility by combining our mobility technologies based on small powertrains – a Company strength – with the robotics born of our production technologies.

"For example, our TRITOWN standing electric micromobility model with twin front wheels was developed wondering what we could achieve if we targeted the last-mile mobility segment.

"With our other pursuits, we are not restricting ourselves to existing forms of motorcycles and are moving forward with the development of a model taking our LMW platform and technologies, which we have been refining for many years, even further."

That gap between cars and bikes will be filled by a production derivative of the high-performance, hybrid-powered MW-Vision concept trike that was shown at the 2019 Tokyo show.

The report says: "Our mobility proposals aim to improve on the shortcomings of motorcycles while leveraging their advantages of small size, minimal road and parking space requirements, a small environmental footprint, and their ability to quickly navigate urban areas... our next-generation mobility vehicles are equipped with a simple cabin, are self-standing thanks to automatic control technology, and can lean through turns like a motorcycle."

Yamaha’s future vehicle plans

Yamaha E02

E02: Shown as a concept in 2019, the E02 uses an existing scooter’s frame to keep costs down, along with a removable battery in line with the swappable battery recently agreed by major players in the sector.

Yamaha E01 concept

E01: The battery electric E01 is virtually certain for production with 125cc-equivalent performance, promising a 90% charge in an hour.

Yamaha TRITOWN

TRITOWN: Already manufactured in small numbers, Yamaha see this as a steppingstone between power-assisted bicycles and motorcycles.

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Ben Purvis

By Ben Purvis