Yamaha India Electric Scooter With 100 Km Range “Very Difficult” – CEO

Yamaha Neo's EV debuts

Yamaha’s first electric scooter for India will be produced locally using components sourced from local vendors

The electric scooter space has seen plenty of action over the last year or so and the segment will see the competition intensify in a big way over the next few years with mainstream two-wheeler makers getting in the act. Bajaj Auto and TVS Motor Company have already stepped into the EV space and more recently, the latter expanded the iQube’s lineup with higher range and improved features list.

The speculations surrounding the maiden electric scooters from big guns such as Honda, Hero MotoCorp, Yamaha and Suzuki have been running wild of late. With Suzuki appearing to have delayed the Burgman Street based EV and Hero debuting its EV-only Vida brand in a couple of months, Honda is working on an e-scooter for the near future while Yamaha had showcased its potential at a dealer event.

Besides launching the Yamaha MT-15 V2 with updates like USD front forks and aluminium swingarm, Yamaha displayed the Neo’s and E01 to gauge attention. However, the European specifications of the Neo’s might not have impressed many as it has a claimed range of only 37 km on a single charge using a single 8 kg battery pack positioned underneath the seat.

Yamaha Neo's EV front

It is basically equivalent to a 50 cc scooter with a restricted top speed of 44 kmph. In an interview, Yamaha India’s Chairman, Eishnin Chihana, talked about his brand’s EV plans and noted that it will be a “joint effort” between Yamaha’s India division and Yamaha Japan. The company’s first electric scooter for India will be produced locally using components sourced from local vendors.

In addition, the electric motor and the battery pack will be developed keeping in mind the harsh and unpredictable climatic conditions prevailing in India. The India-spec model’s design will likely be based on the Neo’s while featuring a more powerful motor with a higher range compared to that of Europe. Yamaha says the e-scooters are ridden for a minimum of 25-35 km per day.

Yamaha Neo's EV rear

It has not come to a conclusion on the range figure it will target with the made-in-India scooter within a limit for safe operation. Chihana explained that offering 100 km real-world range will be a difficult task as current BMS tech will make it hard to achieve such a range: “The ones that are capped at 25kph can achieve it, but if you have performance levels going up to 45 or 50 or 60kph, a real world 100km range is very difficult,”

It looks like the Neo’s based India-spec electric scooter could still be two to three years away.