Heavy Metal Thunder No More: Wind of Change
All eyes are currently on hybrids (such as Honda's upcoming all-new Insight) and electric cars, but electric motorcycles also deserve some attention (if only because they are less noisy). We've featured a few DIY models, like the Voltzilla and the electric Kawasaki, but so far few big players have made them, which has allowed newcomers like Vectrix to get a toehold. But that's about to change.
Honda and Yamaha to Make Electric Motorcycles
According to Nikkei, "Both firms hope to bring to market electric motorcycles that perform on a par with bikes with 50 cc engine displacements. The vehicles will be powered by high-performance lithium ion batteries."
Yamaha Electric Motorcycle
What we know so far is that Yamaha is targeting 2010 for the launch of an electric motorcycle with a range of 100 km (60 miles) on a single charge, with li-ion batteries. No word on price of details on performance yet.
Honda Electric Motorcycle
Honda is targeting 2011 for launch of an electric motorcycle that can do 50 km (31 miles) on a charge. That might not seem much, but the Japan Post Service is thinking of switching to electric bikes, and Honda wants to supply them. We suppose that the range fits with their needs. Nothing yet on price, or performance details.
We don't know yet what the bikes will look like. The pics in this post are of a Honda MBX 50cc.
Moving the Market
Honda and Yamaha own a huge chunk of the motorcycle market, about a third. If they start making electric motorcycle, that could help generate attention and encourage other firms to create their own models. We wish them the best of luck.
Voltzilla: DIY Electric Motorcycle Made from Forklift Parts
DIY Electric Kawasaki Motorcycle
The 7 Best Electric Scooters: From Prototypes to Production Models