Yamaha E01 electric scooter edges closer to production

The Yamaha E01gets ready to charge the electric scooter segment as the Japanese firm's first dedicated push into the growing pint-size EV market 

Yamaha E01 electric scooter [credit: BikeDekho]

Yamaha is preparing to unveil the finished version of its first global electric model, the Yamaha E01 scooter, after new images revealed what appears to be a near-production product.

The Yamaha E01 has been in gestation for more than two years now after a concept version with the same name made its bow at the 2019 Tokyo Motor Show, with the model set to herald the Japanese giant’s first step towards electrification.

Images found on BikeDekho show a heavily camouflaged but production-ready looking prototype doing the rounds, with suggestions some members of the Japanese media were present to test it.

While the livery will certainly make your head go fuzzy if you stare at it for too long, you only have to refer back to the original Yamaha E01 concept to see many of the design traits look to have been carried over.

Though the final detailing will be toned down, the E01 sports a chunky, flat snout that doubles as both the recharging port and the smart central headlight cluster, with the broad, swept back seating area shrouding the sizeable bottom portion where the battery pack will be housed.

The E01 is likely to retain the same architecture as the concept, which suggests it will be the equivalent of a 125cc scooter. So while there is no clear indication as to power and range, Yamaha promises a fast-charge.

Why the Yamaha E01 is such an important model

While the Yamaha E01 will be entering an increasingly crowded marketplace when it does make its bow following the wave of Chinese and Taiwanese models that have flooded the segment in recent years, the E01 will be one of the most crucial launches for the EV movement.

Indeed, while the take up on electric motorcycles has been slow, electric scooters are beginning to eat into the ICU market share. In 2021, the Super Soco CPX became the first electric two wheeler to crack the overall top ten in the UK sales charts.

Moreover, Yamaha - together with Honda - are considered the benchmarks in the scooter segment, with the E01’s petrol equivalent, the NMAX, one of the world’s best selling PTWs (powered two wheelers), including the UK where it dominated the sales charts in 2021.

Yamaha is also involved in an ambitious tie-up between many of the leading manufacturers to ensure standardised recharging equipment across the industry, while it is set to experiment with removable batteries, which will allow riders to stop at a public station and swap an empty one for a fully charged one.

Though Yamaha has experimented with electric technology for some years, it has remained coy as to where this will take it in terms of larger motorcycles with the firm seemingly content with allowing Kawasaki - which will launch its first full-sized EV later this year - to steal a march.