After years of tinkering with prototypes and teasing us with concept machines at shows, it seems Yamaha might be close to launching a production version of an electric scooter.
Reports out of Europe (we saw it here in Motorrad) say Yamaha has filed to protect the name “E01” in Europe, using it for an electric scooter.
If you’ve been paying attention for a while, you’ll remember Yamaha was flogging a concept version of an electric scooter, called the E01, back at 2019’s Tokyo Motor Show. Yamaha already has the e-Vino for sale in the Japanese market, but that’s generally considered to be an equivalent to a 50cc stepthrough. The E01 was considered to be more powerful, the equivalent to a 125cc gasoline-powered step through.
Just filing for a model name doesn’t mean Yamaha will actually build and sell this machine in Europe, or anywhere else. However, when the original E01 debuted, everyone noted that it basically looked production-ready. Indeed, maybe if COVID-19 hadn’t come along and upset the applecart, it’s possible we would have seen the E01 for sale already.
What about the others?
Seeing this machine supposedly coming soon makes us wonder, where are the others? After all, the Japanese OEMs have all been working on similar designs for years. Indeed, the Big Four actually have a cooperative effort to develop electric scooter technology, and yet, we’ve seen very little in the way of actual products that riders can purchase. Here in North America, there’s been nothing at all.
All we can say is, stay tuned. Honda and Yamaha both seem keen to move this forward, but they also seem keen to minimize financial risk. We’ll get these practical step-throughs once the bean-counters think it makes sense, but not a minute before.