In December 2019, Telegraph India said in a report that Yamaha is considering an EV for India in the medium term. We aren’t sure if the first Yamaha EV in India will be a Yamaha electric scooter or a Yamaha electric bike, but the former seems likely given the buyer preference and what competitors are developing.
As of December 2019, Yamaha was conducting a feasibility study in India to launch an electric two-wheeler. It didn’t plan to put the first electric two-wheeler in our market before 2022. In the most recent update, Ravinder Singh, Senior Vice President, Yamaha (India), talked about the Yamaha EV launch plan with PTI (via ET Auto). He said:
We are conducting a feasibility study on EVs (electric vehicles) and are trying to understand the market requirements as well as the government’s roadmap on EVs. We might introduce electric vehicles in India in the next couple of years.Ravinder Singh, Senior Vice President, Yamaha (India)
Yamaha Electric Scooter could be a good stablemate to the Fascino
Apparently, the Japanese two-wheeler manufacturer is taking it slow with EVs in India and it’s not for just one specific reason. Below is what Yasuo Ishihara, managing director, Yamaha Motor Research and Development, India, told Telegraph India in December 2019 –
It is a difficult segment. Going electric is a big direction. There needs to be a lot of discussion about product development, infrastructure development, battery innovation. We will not bring EVs here before two to three years.
Yamaha is studying several parameters such as infrastructure setup, cost of ownership, electric vehicle policies of the government and other factors for adding electric vehicles in showrooms.
Yamaha is not entirely new to the electric vehicle segment, making its foray into EVs in as early as 2002. At the 46th Tokyo Motor Show in October 2019 (video above), the company displayed a wide range of products that included three Yamaha electric scooter models – E-Vino in production form, E01 and E02 concepts. The Yamaha E-Vino is based on the retro-pop styled Vino scooter and offers features like smooth acceleration, plenty of usable torque at very low speeds, easily removable battery and two riding modes. The E-Vino weighs 68 kg and has a 50V Lithium-ion battery and a 0.58 kW output.
The Yamaha E01 concept is an urban commuter model with sporty styling, is fast-charge compatibility and offers quality ride, excellent comfort and plenty of range. The Yamaha E02 is an electric commuter scooter designed to be a perfect personal mobility vehicle for cities.
Yamaha EC-05 – An inspired version for India?
Yamaha has not just been a concept vehicle company, having launched the EC-05 electric scooter in Taiwan on 1 August 2019 after conducting a study with Gogoro Inc. for collaboration for charging infrastructure and local manufacturing. Benefiting from a 1200-point wide battery-swapping station network of Gogoro, the EC-05 commuter model, with its water-cooled system, gets a 10 hp/26 Nm motor. The range and top speed of this Yamaha electric scooter are 110 km and 90 km/h respectively. This model measures 1,880mm (length) x 670mm (width) x 1,180mm (height). It has an impressive 0-50 km/h sprint time of 3.9 seconds.
The EC-05 was launched with a sales target of 20,000 units in the first year. A low-cost Yamaha electric scooter inspired by the of the EC-05 could be an ideal competitor to the Bajaj Chetak, Ola Electric Scooter, Suzuki Burgman electric and the upcoming Hero eMaestro. However, a Yamaha Fascino-derived EV could be less expensive and easier to market here. Suzuki is taking a similar approach with its first EV in India, by launching a battery-powered variant of the Burgman Street. The Suzuki Burgman electric is likely to go on sale later this year, but the first Yamaha EV may join only towards the end of 2022.