Yamaha taking electrics REAL serious

Fri, Oct 1, 2010

Electric, Scooter

In an unexpected move for any of the Big4 (HYSK – Honda, Yamaha, Suzuki, Kawasaki), Yamaha has placed a full page ad ,(apparently) for the E-2 electric scooter in today’s Tokyo newspaper.  I’m not exactly sure why we are seeing “E-2″ featured when I was expecting to see something called the EC-03 or Passol-L.  I do see “EC-03 & PAS” there at the bottom and perhaps someone can chime in with some help with figuring all that out.

According to our man-on-the-street, Akisan, motorbikes are never advertised in the paper.  Motorbikes are getting bad reputation in the eyes of the younger generation for the number of accidents and their association with bōsōzoku.

Perhaps Yamaha sees a clean-cut, peace-sign-thowing, earth-friendly electric as a means of cleaning up the motorbiker image?  Whatever the reason, they chunked an impressive pile of ¥en at the idea to make it happen.

From what we know about the aluminum-alloy framed EC-03, it’s got a 50V 14Ah Lithum-ion battery that can push it along at 18 mph (on a flat surface) for a distance of 26 miles with a 6 hour charge time; similar performance to what we saw from the UltraMotor A2B Metro… maybe a bit of a longer distance.

I personally hope this electric “personal commuter” receives a warm welcome form the Japanese consumer.  Yamaha only has plans to release 1,000 units of the EC-03 this year starting September 1st, 2010 in the Tokyo Metropolitan area and all over Japan starting TODAY.

12 Responses to “Yamaha taking electrics REAL serious”

  1. Sporty Says:

    Once again…….TOO SLOW !!!!!


    • Meg Says:

      That sure is too slow. It needs to go at least 30mph with a 3 hr recharge time. If it goes 26 miles on a charge, that’s OK. Go Japan!


  2. Casey Hooligan Says:

    Next-Gen BosoZoku will be slapping on crazy-tall handlebars, faux-patton leather seats and baseball bat mounts… but sadly nowhere to attache lidicrously loud exhaust?


  3. Orin Says:

    Japan’s population has the lowest birth rate and highest median age of any nation on Earth. In 100 years, the Japanese will be extinct. In the meantime, a 30-mph electric scooter will be just fine for a nation of decrepit old geezers. And it might actually result in a carbon reduction, since Japan has lots more nuclear reactors, and even natural-gas fuel cells powering some houses and commercial buildings.

    Scootin’ Old Skool


  4. philip mccaleb Says:

    I would LOVE to hear this….

    what top speed is needed to make this concept a hit in the usa?

    what would the suggested charge time be?

    what would be an acceptable retail price for the above?

    I’ll be watching!


    • Orin Says:

      Phil, while I’m not a fan of electric scooters, it really wouldn’t take much of a leap to make them useful. As you may know, I used to have a Vespa PX150. It would go 47 mph all day if asked, and the low-fuel light would come on at ~130 miles. An electric scooter with equal performance and range would be as useful as the PX (and I did use it… I put 20,000 miles on it before I sold it). If it were priced like the PX ($4,199 + T/L/S), I would consider that reasonable. Batteries will never fully charge in the time it takes to fill a gas tank, so how ’bout doing what Canon does with a G11—supply a charger, make the battery easily removable and cheap enough so you can have one in the bike and one at home in the charger…

      Scootin’ Old Skool


    • GenWaylaid Says:

      I suspect that the speed and range of my Honda Trail 110 at 45 mph (72 kph) and about 100 mi (160 km) per tank would suffice for an electric scooter in the U.S. Given the growing electric car charging infrastructure here in California, it would be a significant selling point to support Level 2 charging with a J1772 plug as well as 110 V Level 1 charging.

      HOWEVER, bear in mind that the U.S. market for electric scooters will be small regardless of the price because scooters as a whole are still a small market. It’s not unreasonable to imagine electrics capturing a large share of the sub-250cc market, though.


      • upstate nyer Says:

        It would serve my purposes to get 45 mph; less than that couldn’t drive on most roads which are at least 35 to 45 mph…range is not as important for me, unless there is some infrastructure in the US..will just charge at home….use for in town grocery runs etc….but have to keep up with traffic.

        had a vino 125 as my first scooter and loved it; however could barely make up small hills and don’t like carbureted; first year had to already use kick starter or push to get it started in the Spring….for example…

        would buy fuel injected like buddy 170i but would like at very least over 100 mpg to at least feel it is improvement over 95 mpg or so I got in the Vino and as fuel injected is supposed to be more efficient…

        does anybody own the new buddy 170?? wondering how it performs.


  5. Aki Hasegawa Says:

    Hello from Japan,

    30km is a speed limit of 50cc(and under 600w class)
    motorcycle in Japan,I heard Some gosip it had 30km/
    45km and 60km mode,

    In Japan home electric voltage is 100V usualy,Some
    “next” electric car charged systme use 200V,Now Nissan
    making Leaf(e-car) and electric charged system with
    all there sales station in Japan,


  6. Sporty Says:

    For me I need 35mph, 50 mile range and no more than 8 hour charge time, $2500 max price.


  7. dudel Says:

    Pointless. The performance is too slow and the charge discharge rate too high. I suppose since electric is trendy it serves an advertising and and positive press purpose. More efficient gasoline-electric hybrids and new-technology transmissions are realistically the best direction for development but that doesn’t get the press or attention.

    At the Paris Motor Show this weekend,
    Renault displayed two electric cars as did Jaguar:



    - Dudel


  8. upstate nyer Says:

    I have to have 45 mph to be practical in my small city…as chinamart destroyed small mom and pop neighborhood grocery stores, my local grocery is now across town about 5 miles away and have to go through downtown and then short stretch of 45 mph…suvs will run you over here and there is no bike racks etc..I rode my bike and had to park it INSIDE the store.

    had a vino and loved it but wanted a motorcycle…vino was carbureted; after two years almost couldn’t start it in spring time..bogged down on hills..would buy another electric scooter in a heartbeat if it had enough oomph…for me, less concerned about quick recharge…decent range would serve my purposes. would get a hybrid at 140 mpg if that was available…just a regular scooter..if a three wheel can get that, why can’t somebody make a regular scooter with lithium batteries

    Taiwan PGO scooters has electric, called IDEC or e bubu, this is the same co. which sells buddy…

    if gas stays above four bucks, I think there will be demand in the US….I would buy the first one avail at my local dealer.


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