Japan’s Yamaha Motor unveiled on Wednesday a zero-emission electric motor scooter for city use that it said could travel five times farther than a gasoline model for the same cost. The Yamaha EC-03 can travel 43 kilometers on a single six-hour charge from a household power outlet, which costs about 18 yen in Japan, far less than the cost of powering a conventional 50cc scooter, it said.
Yamaha will launch the electric-moped on September 1 in Tokyo, and a month later across Japan, at an expected retail price of 252,000 yen (89,600 Baht). It will start exports to Taiwan and Europe in 2011, and forecasts total demand to reach 300,000 to 500,000 units by the mid-2010s as it expands into other markets, such as China.
“China is the largest market for electric bicycles, with estimated annual demand exceeding 20 million units,” Yamaha said in a statement. “A still more enormous market for electric motorcycles is expected to develop in China. “The company is launching into this expanding global market with a view to gaining the highest share worldwide.” The motor scooter has a lightweight aluminum alloy frame and is powered by a 50V lithium-ion battery manufactured by Sanyo Electric.
“It emits no carbon dioxide and can be stored away inside the house as it would leak no gasoline,” a Yamaha spokesman said. The model represents a return to the electric market for Yamaha, which in 2002 became the first firm to mass produce an electric motorcycle, the Yamaha Passol.