Yamaha expanding electric two-wheeler business
Yamaha is taking their electric bike business further into new markets. A cooperation with Gogoro for Yamaha to use the firm’s battery swapping system in Taiwan is just in the making. Yamaha will add their design and marketing power. Moreover, they started selling pedelecs in the U.S. for the first time.
Yamaha may be best loved for their motorcycles but the firm has been active in the lower-powered electric bike segment for a long time. In 1993 they basically invented the pedal-assist principle for e-bikes and they have been making electric scooters for years as well.
Now an expansion of both businesses is due. First in Taiwan where Yamaha is turning to Gogoro to increase their footing in the electric scooter market. The latter is poised to grow since the government in Taipei has ordered all two-wheelers to turn their wheels with zero emissions by 2035 (we reported).
For now, Yamaha and Gogoro are studying the benefits of such a cooperation still but expect a formal contract to be signed this year. It would then combine Gogoro’s battery swapping system and basic scooter technology and Yamaha’s design and marketing power.
Yamaha Motor Taiwan already manufactures and sells the E-VINO electric scooter and they hope to broaden their portfolio in Taiwan. Says Takuya Kinoshita, Chief GM of Yamaha’s Motorcycle Business Operations: “This collaboration with Gogoro in the Taiwanese market will not only increase the mobility options of our customers, but we believe that sharing leading-edge battery-swapping system enables embracing the challenge of creating a new mobility service market.”
Gogoro and their battery swapping system in particular has taken the market in a storm in 2015. Since then, Gogoro has installed more than 750 GoStations in Taiwan and is expected to have more than 1,000 by 2019. They claim they have made more than 17 million battery swaps to date.
For them this collaboration with Yamaha is to increase its production volume of electric scooters.
But Taiwan is not the only market, where Yamaha plans to raise their light electric vehicle profile. The Japanese have launched their business for pedal-assist bicycles for the first time in the USA. Four pedelec models, including urban as well as eMTBs, are on offer at selected dealerships and online. Prices for the electric bikes range between 2,399 and 3,499 dollars.