The giant Japanese company, Yamaha Motor, officially unveiled a zero-emission electric motor scooter this week which, unlike the gasoline model, could travel five times farther at the same cost.
Dubbed EC-03, the electric scooter can travel about 43 kilometres with just a single six-hour charge from a household power outlet. In Japan one such charge costs 18 yen (cents), being far less than the cost of powering a conventional 50 cc scooter.
This electric moped will be launched on September 1 in Tokyo at a price of $2,800. It is expected that by the middle of 2010 total demand reaches 300,000 to 500,000 units. Yamaha will also export this scooter to Europe and Taiwan in 2011. The business is also set to expand to China.
“China is the largest market for electric bicycles, with estimated annual demand exceeding 20 million units. 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,” Yamaha representatives said in a statement.
The motor scooter is equipped with a 50V lithium-ion battery provided by by Sanyo Electric and has a light aluminum alloy frame. If we go back in time we see that in 2002 Yamaha became the first company to mass produce an electric motorcycle, the Passol. Now, the EC-03 represents a return to the electric market for the company.