Yamaha begins using 'green aluminium' in motorcycle production

Yamaha has begun to use 'green aluminium' in its manufacturing processes, it has announced, as part of its goal to reach carbon neutrality by 2050.

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Yamaha has announced that it has begun to use ‘green aluminium’ in the production of its motorcycles, beginning with high-capacity and off-road competition models.

The use of ‘green aluminium’ by Yamaha began in February 2023, having previously secured an agreement with a supplier of aluminium ingots.

Yamaha says that this is the first time green aluminium has been used in the production of Japanese motorcycles.

The term ‘green aluminium’ comes from the refining process of the alloy. Instead of traditional refining methods, that for green aluminium uses renewable energy sources, and emit “around 60% less CO2 in its manufacture compared to traditionally refined aluminium,” Yamaha says, while acknowledging that the precise percentage reduction in emissions is variable depending on the manufacturer.

Between 12% and 31% of a motorcycle’s weight is accounted for by aluminium parts, Yamaha says, and already the Iwata manufacturer’s aluminium usage is 80%-comprised of recycled aluminium, based on Yamaha’s own figures for 2022.

The transition to green aluminium will first affect mostly large-capacity motorcycles - so Yamaha R1 units, or Yamaha MT-10 - and off-road competition motorcycles, such as the new 2023 Yamaha YZ450F.

The plan from there is to expand the use of green aluminium across a greater number of models. 

Finally, Yamaha says that the move is in-line with its target of reaching carbon neutrality across the entirety of Yamaha Motor by 2050. Future steps in this include exclusively using sustainable materials in manufacturing processes, and using more plant-based resins.

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