Yamaha Switches On with new electric scooters, mopeds and bicycles

Yamaha has announced an electric expansion for the brand, with a new colour to be associated with their electric products, and a variety of electric scooters and bicycles which will begin to become available to European markets in the spring. 

Yamaha's new line-up of electric bikes from the Switch On event.

A new YouTube premiere, called Switch On, from Yamaha has seen the brand’s European branch launch a new electric era for the company. 

Yamaha revealed two new electric scooters in the premiere, with 50cc- and 125cc-equivalent models in development. They will revive the NEO’s name, but at the current time are still in the prototype phase.

The 50cc-equivalent model was first revealed at the 2019 Tokyo Motor Show as the “E02” prototype, and at the same show the “E01” prototype was also revealed. The E01 will be concept from which the 125cc-equivalent model will be derived. The E01 will be “the protagonist in a Proof of Concept activity that Yamaha will set up in a major European city with a scooter sharing partner,” according to a Yamaha press release which accompanied the YouTube premiere.

It is our understanding that the full launch of the NEO’s will be on 10 March 2022.

The premiere also saw a new electric-focused colour launched for Yamaha, which they are calling “aqua”, and which will be seen on all electric releases from Yamaha from this point forwards. In the premiere, Yamaha described the colour as a combination of the recognisable Yamaha blue, which is common on their combustion motorcycles, and green, the colour associated with sustainability. The colour is somewhat teal-ish, and was prominent in the presentation. 

Firstly, Yamaha Motor Europe President Eric de Seynes appeared in the premiere, and said “we must support, somewhere, a better life for our citizens, the citizens of the cities.” He added, “So we have been working in that direction in respect of the main quality of the two-wheelers, which is freedom.”

When asked about the meaning of “Switch On”, de Seynes said, “it means we are turning on the electric, starting a new challenge and a new way of living [in] the city.” He continued, “Over the next twelve months, we will reveal many new models.”

Also announced in the premiere were three new e-bikes. Last year, five million e-bikes were sold in Europe, and Yamaha has announced it is to begin producing its own electric bicycles, while “remaining totally committed to developing cutting-edge drive units for the company’s many OEM bicycle manufacturers.”

Full details of Yamaha’s e-bikes will be revealed in the summer, but today it has been announced that Yamaha will have one mountain e-bike, one gravel, and one “urban”. The e-bikes will be available from the end of this year via Yamaha’s Powered Two Wheeler network, while they say their “target [is] to complete the European distributor set-up in 2023.”

The final announcement made by Yamaha was an electric moped in the style of the original post-WWII mopeds. The prototype for Yamaha’s electric moped is called the B01, and will be developed with Italian motorcycle manufacturer Fantic, who won the 2021 EMX250 motocross title with Nicolas Lapucci, and Motor Minarelli.