Compact and lightweight, motorcycles emit small amounts of CO2 during use as a mobility option, and they can also be manufactured using minimal resources as raw materials. For these reasons, motorcycles are deemed "environmentally friendly products" in life cycle assessments (LCA), which assess the environmental impact of a product throughout its entire life cycle, from raw materials to disposal and recycling. However, it is also true that motorcycles add to the overall environmental burden of human activities in the urban areas of the ASEAN region, a major market for Yamaha Motor, by contributing to traffic congestion and air pollution.
Of the total life cycle CO2 emissions produced by the Yamaha Motor Group, emissions from products account for 85%, of which motorcycles account for 72%. The Paris Agreement adopted in 2015 commits the international community to tackling global warming, with the goal of keeping the rise in global temperatures to less than 2 °C above pre-industrial levels. At Yamaha Motor, we are working hard to contribute to the creation of a low carbon society and resolution of regional issues in various ways. These include the shift from 2-stroke to more environmentally friendly 4-stroke engines, and in 2014 we released a next-generation high-performance compact motorcycle engine based on the BLUE CORE concept, which strives to take riding enjoyment, fuel efficiency, and environmental performance to a whole new level. Various models sold in the ASEAN region and elsewhere are equipped with BLUE CORE engines.
The 4-stroke Challenge and Expansion of Product Categories
Its engine featured a 5-valve layout that made it easier to give the combustion chamber a lens-like form to achieve a high compression ratio. The resulting rapid combustion produced a lot of power. The area around the cylinder head also had a compact design, leading to a smaller overall chassis size.
In addition to the advantages of a 4-stroke design, including clean emissions, quiet operation, and excellent fuel efficiency, this new-generation outboard featured speed and acceleration performance that rivaled those of 2-stroke outboards.
4-stroke personal watercraft offer dramatically better environmental characteristics such as fuel efficiency, cleanness of exhaust, and quietness, while providing a smooth dynamic ride. Yamaha has since expanded its range of personal watercraft, from sporty models to cruising models.
This snowmobile featured a new engine based on the engine of the YZF-R1, Yamaha's flagship motorcycle model, and mounted on an aluminum frame specially designed to accommodate a 4-stroke engine.
This environmentally friendly product cut fuel consumption by 20% by adopting a 4-stroke engine. It also achieved enhanced exhaust performance, including a 95% reduction in hydrocarbons.
The ideal behind all "BLUE CORE" engines is "Fun & Eco!" After all, if it's not fun, it's not a Yamaha. These engines are developed not only to achieve high fuel efficiency, but also to deliver the fun-to-ride performance we want all Yamaha customers to enjoy. "BLUE CORE" engines are our answer to what an eco-friendly Yamaha engine should be, and they are products of Yamaha "Sports DNA" and over 60 years of our unwavering Yamaha Monozukuri spirit of craftsmanship. But this ideal has no final answer, and that's why Yamaha will continue to evolve "BLUE CORE" technology into the future.
A motorcycle engine design concept that balances fuel economy and environmental performance at a high level
Increasing Combustion Efficiency / Reducing Power Loss / Increasing Cooling Efficiency
Increasing Combustion Efficiency
Clean Combustion Enables "Fun & Eco"
A key point of BLUE CORE engines is their low fuel consumption, but achieving that alone isn't our aim. Yamaha's quest is for the ultimate balance of the compression ratio, combustion chamber shape, air intake path, combustion flame propagation, and more, because cleaner combustion is what makes it possible for us to give BLUE CORE engines an ideal combination of both strong power delivery and fuel efficiency.
Reducing Power Loss
Light & Simple Means Waste-less Performance
Engines run on the power of burning fuel. Our desire to get the fullest use out of every last bit of that power led us to try to reduce power losses inside the engine as much as possible. To accomplish this, we turned our attention to the metals of each and every part to make them as lightweight as we could and reduce frictional losses to an absolute minimum.
Increasing Cooling Efficiency
Always Cool for Maximum Power
For an engine to deliver stable performance across a wide range of operating conditions, optimal cooling performance is essential. If the engine runs too hot or too cool, the power it will deliver weakens. We design each BLUE CORE engine—whether it's air-cooled or liquid-cooled—to keep its temperatures down but still up where we can maximize the power of each drop of fuel burned.
2019 Results on Reduction of Use-phase CO2 Emissions Specified in the Yamaha Motor Group Environmental Plan 2050
In the Environmental Plan 2050, we set a use-phase CO2 emissions reduction target of 50% per unit sales from 2010 levels by 2050. All operating divisions have set milestone 2025 targets and are working on specific measures within the time frame of a three-year medium-term plan (2019–2021). The Environment Committee checks progress toward their targets three times a year and reports the status to the Board of Directors at least twice a year.
Introduce fuel-efficient models
Liquid-cooled SC NMAX155
Equip products with the Smart Motor Generator System
Air-cooled ST 09H: Achieve compliance with BS6 Indian emission standards
Completed steps to achieve compliance with BS6
Weight reduction of overseas E-KIT (reduce by 1.3 kg)
Develop a new lightweight drive unit
Reduced weight by 1.23 kg
Fuel efficiency improvement of large outboards
Preparations for compliance with four-star exhaust emission standards
8% improvement of propulsion performance
Electric propeller sales target
Improved fuel efficiencyElectrification
Improve direct injection fuel efficiency
Improve device and knock resistance
8% improvement of propulsion performance
Deliberation of electrification models
Advance development of outboards meeting four-star exhaust emission standards
Completed technological development for improving propulsion performance by 6%
Creation of an electrification roadmap
Reduction of power consumption
0.003524 in 2010 to 0.02643 in 2025 (reduce by 25%)
Improved electric efficiency
(5% reduction from 0.03524 Wh/chip in 2010)
Reduction of power consumption
Fuel consumption: reduce by 50%
Electric models: Use for 20% of sprayed area in Japan
Transportation, observation/flight time: reduce by 40%, double payload
Develop a sprayer with a high discharge rate (4–6 L/min)
Promote electric types (500 units/year)
Launched a sprayer capable of discharging 4 L/min
Sold 70 units of electric types
2010 model (Ni-MH): Improve to 17 km per charge from 15 km per charge
Improved electric efficiency
Fully revamp flagship JWX-1 model and increase cruising distance by improving efficiency
Kicked off a project with the participation of the JW Product Planning Team of the Design Center
Internal combustion engine: improve efficiency by 20%
Engine loss: reduce by 5%
Improved fuel efficiency
Conduct advance development of GC400
Improve ratio for inverter generator models
Launched GC400 in January 2020
Launched project for EF2200IS
Internal combustion engine:
10.4 km/L (improve by 30%)
Sell 26,000 units of electric models (launch Li model in the US)
Improve electric efficiency by 10%
Improved fuel efficiencyElectrification
YDR: Improve fuel efficiency by 25%
Start development of Hybrid 1.0 (SMG) X
Promotion target with the introduction of Low Cost AC drive model: 18,694 units
G30: Target 5% electric efficiency improvement; develop Low Cost AC drive model X
Found issues in feasibility check for 25% fuel efficiency improvement and fed them back for advance development
Achieved 16,085 units (90% progress rate)
We set a CO2 reduction target of 50% per unit sales from 2010 levels by 2050 (t-CO2/unit sales), in terms of the amount of CO2 emitted from products sold. In 2019, we achieved a reduction of 13.1%, far exceeding the year's target of 11.3%.
BLUE CORE Engine
The NMAX155 features a 155-cm3 liquid-cooled, 4-stroke, SOHC, single-cylinder, 4-valve FI engine focused on high-efficiency combustion, high cooling performance, and loss reduction. This engine was developed and set up based on Yamaha's original BLUE CORE engine design concept, which strives to take riding enjoyment, fuel efficiency, and environmental performance to a whole new level. It uses a forged aluminum piston, all-aluminum DiASil cylinder, offset cylinder, and variable valve actuation (VVA) mechanism to promote high-efficiency combustion. These elements combine to deliver a powerful ride, excellent fuel efficiency, and superb acceleration feel.
Making the Engine Lighter and Smaller
The Smart Motor Generator System controls the direction in which an electric current flows toward the starter generator to allow it to function both as a generator and starter motor. As a result, the engine can operate without a conventional starter motor and gears, making it approximately 900 g lighter and smaller.
Stop & Start System
This system reduces fuel consumption by immediately stopping the engine when the vehicle is stopped at a red light, etc., and also ensures the restart is quiet. It improves fuel efficiency by approximately 9%.
Battery-less Fuel Injection
Our new outboard features a battery-less fuel injection system for easy engine starts even under harsh operating conditions, as well as enhanced acceleration performance.
Blow-by Gas Reburning System*
We adopted the blow-by gas reburning system* as an environmental measure to achieve clean exhaust that meets the 2008 emission standards of the California Air Resources Board (CARB), 2010 emission standards of the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and EU marine emission standards.
* The engine oil mixed into blow-by gas is separated, and only the fuel is sent back to the combustion chamber via the intake system. This keeps the exhaust gas clean because oil is not burned during the combustion process.
Electrically Power Assisted Bicycle Topics
Yamaha Receives Japan's Technology Management and Innovation Award
Ever since we developed the world's first electrically power assisted bicycle and put it on the market in 1993, we have made various improvements in subsequent models by incorporating new technologies. Along the way, we have acquired a broader user base, created a new category of product that is neither a bicycle nor a motorcycle, and fulfilled the initial development objectives of contributing to society and the resolution of social issues. In recognition of these accomplishments, we received the Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry award at the 8th Technology Management and Innovation Awards, an event hosted by the Japan Techno-Economics Society.
Development and Promotion of Next-generation Mobility Options
It is widely believed that global warming is caused by a rise in CO2 levels in the atmosphere. The international community is moving toward the creation of a carbon-free society in order to make this planet and the next generation of ecosystems sustainable. This means that CO2 emissions from burning oil, coal, and other fossil fuels used as an energy source by humans must be reduced to zero or negative by 2100. Countries and territories around the world are encouraging the use of fuel-efficient motorcycles and tightening emission standards, while developing the necessary infrastructure to lay the groundwork for the next generation of mobility society and popularization of electric motorcycles.
1980s Mark the Start of Efforts to Address Global Environmental Issues
We have constantly pursued the creation of new value in a variety of fields including mobility. In 1993, we released PAS, the world's first electrically power assisted bicycle marketed as a personal commuter vehicle that is both people-friendly and environmentally friendly. Then in 2002, we introduced Passol, an environmentally friendly electric scooter for urban commuters. Subsequently, we went on to electrify various product categories, including golf cars, wheelchairs, and outboards. For many years, we have worked to provide a fulfilling life to people all over the world, making sure that we, as a manufacturer of transportation equipment, meet our social responsibility of consideration for the environment through our businesses and products.
Medium-term (2019–2021) Electric Product Strategy
In the Long-term Vision and Medium-term Management Plan announced at the end of 2019, we specified resource and environmental issues as one of the material social issues that we can help to address by leveraging our strengths. We aim to reduce CO2 emissions from our products by 50% by 2050 from 2010 levels. The EC-05 represents the first launch under the electric product strategy in this Medium-term Management Plan period, with more releases to come. The EC-05 is the fifth electric motorcycle launched by Yamaha Motor, after the Passol in 2002, the EC-02 in 2005, the EC-03 in 2010, and the E-Vino in 2014.
Creating Solutions in the Unique Style of Yamaha
Currently, we are witnessing a step change in how people travel and how goods are transported. "Connected," "autonomous," "shared," and "electric" (CASE) are the keywords that represent the four interlinked elements behind the innovative technologies and services that are driving this transformation. At Yamaha Motor, we are working to create solutions that address such themes as "a new relationship between humans and vehicles," "rebuilding of traffic infrastructure in urban and depopulated areas," and "ideal forms of mobility in an aging society," which have become matters of global concern, particularly in developed countries. In this effort, we are building on a foundation of our technologies and know-how cultivated over the years, ever since our foundation, in relation to motorcycles and various other means of mobility, and combining the latest robotics technologies that realize automation and autonomy.
An autonomous riding robot capable of operating a motorcycle designed for humans and riding around a racetrack at high speeds, as an approach to completely automated operation.
A proof-of-concept experimental electric motorcycle that features AI to enable balance control when stationary and moving at low speeds, as well as automated riding.
A prototype model equipped with hydrogen fuel cells that proposes the next generation of last-mile mobility.
An autonomous vehicle aimed at realizing a new service system for traveling a short distance, using an original approach applying the technologies and know-how developed with golf cars. (Concept model)
A compact electric vehicle with twin front wheels that is ridden standing up. Makes last-mile mobility a fun and exciting experience. (Field test model)
A concept model of a mobility vehicle that anyone can enjoy.
Reduction of CO2 Emissions from Production Operations
Our main initiative with respect to CO2 emissions from production operations has been the rollout of the Global Utility Cost Reduction Project (Theoretical Value Energy Project) since 2013, for energy conservation at Group companies in Japan and overseas. This project builds on the energy conservation expertise accumulated in Japan by sharing this know-how with overseas Group companies and working together to reduce CO2 emissions across the Group. Initiatives during 2019 included the use of waste heat recovered from furnaces for air conditioning, and non-heated pretreatment for coating. These led to the lowering of CO2 emissions per net sales and reductions in CO2 emissions.
To date, we have visited 30 locations in 13 countries, including Group companies in Japan and covering 98% of Groupwide CO2 emissions, in our effort to reduce energy loss. Going forward, we will continue our initiatives to further reduce CO2 emissions from our factories and offices.
Total Global CO2 Emissions and CO2 Emissions per Unit Sales
In 2019, our total global CO2 emissions were 539,427 t-CO2, with Asia (55%) and Japan (27%) combined accounting for 82% of the total.
We set a CO2 reduction target of 50% per net sales from 2010 levels by 2050 (t-CO2/net sales), in terms of the amount of CO2 emitted from production operations. In 2019, we achieved a reduction of 37%, far exceeding the year's target of 14%.
Total Global CO2 Emissions (Scope 1 + 2)
CO2 Emissions by Region and Scope
Reduction of CO2 Emissions from Distribution Operations
We are working to improve transportation efficiency with the aim of reducing CO2 emissions from distribution operations. We are also taking active steps to monitor CO2 emissions from distribution operations at overseas locations in a Groupwide effort to promote reduction activities.
Improvement of Transportation Efficiency
The large-displacement V8 5.6-liter F425A outboard, Yamaha's flagship model, had a much longer overall length than the previous F350A model, and also much heavier. However, by improving container loading efficiency, we were able to maintain the same level of loading efficiency as before and reduce transportation costs.
Monitoring CO2 Emissions from Distribution Operations at Overseas Locations
In 2019, 241,627 tons of CO2 were emitted globally from distribution operations. By monitored scope, sales distribution involving the export and import of finished products accounted for the largest share at 33%. This was followed by procurement and production distribution involving the transportation of parts and raw materials, which accounted for 22%. In particular, global sales of motorcycle models manufactured at overseas factories are increasing year after year, so we will continue to promote and monitor our global efforts to reduce CO2 emissions from distribution operations.
Addressing Scope 3 Emissions
At Yamaha Motor, as part of our efforts to reduce the CO2 emissions of the whole supply chain, we are striving to monitor not only our own CO2 emissions (Scopes 1, 2), but all emissions related to our business activities, including sourcing of raw materials, transportation, business trips and commuting of employees, use of products by customers, and disposal (Scope 3). In 2019, our supply chain emissions were 149,718 t-CO2 for Scope 1, 377,776 t-CO2 for Scope 2, 28,568,741 t-CO2 for Scope 3, and 30,612,073 t-CO2 overall. "Category 11" emissions from the use of products (83.5％) and "Category 1" emissions from extraction of resources to manufacturing (12.3％) added up to account for 95.8％ of the total. In setting reduction targets for CO2 emissions, we recognize the importance of improving fuel efficiency, promoting the development and adoption of next-generation mobility vehicles, and using resources efficiently.
CO2 emissions across the entire supply chain (2019)
The Company's CO2 emissions
Percentage of emissions (%)
(Greenhouse gases directly emitted by fuel use and industrial processes)
(Greenhouse gases emitted indirectly through the use of purchased electricity, steam, heat, cooling, etc.)
All CO2 emissions related to business activities Scope 3
Percentage of emissions (%)
Category 1: Purchased goods and services
(Emissions from extraction of resources to manufacturing)
Category 2: Capital goods
(Emissions from construction/manufacture of Company's capital goods)
Category 3: Activities relating to fuel and energy not included in Scope 1 or 2
Category 4: Transportation and distribution (upstream)
(Emissions from the distribution of purchased products and services)
Category 5: Waste generated in operations
(Emissions from processing waste generated by business activities)
Category 6: Business travel
(Emissions from means of transportation used to transport employees for business travel, etc.)
Category 7: Employee commuting
(Emissions from means of transportation used to transport employees for commuting)
Category 8: Leased assets (upstream)
Category 9: Transportation and distribution (downstream)
Category 10: Processing of sold products
(Emissions from processing of manufactured intermediate products by downstream businesses)
Category 11: Use of sold products
(Emissions from use of products)
Category 12: End-of-life treatment of sold products
(Emissions from disposal and processing of products and packaging)
Category 8. Leased assets (upstream)
Operating times for copiers and personal computers under lease contracts are included in electricity charges under Scope 2. The emission volume for this category is 0.
Category 9. Transportation and distribution (downstream)
Motorcycles account for roughly 80% of the number of items shipped by all operating divisions, and almost all product deliveries to customers in all countries and territories are made at dealerships. The emission volume for this category is 0.
Category 11. Use of sold products
Energy usage per vehicle based on average fuel consumption or rate of electricity use, multiplied by product lifetime in years and annual number of units sold.
Category 13. Leased assets (downstream)
This applies to leased motorcycles, electrically power assisted bicycles, boats, etc. Because Yamaha Motor provides the same products for leasing, this is included in Category 11, "Use of sold products." The emission volume for this category is 0.
Category 14. Franchises
As Yamaha Motor does not have a franchising system, the emission volume for this category is 0.
Category 15. Investments
As Yamaha Motor is not considered an investor for the purpose of gaining profit, this is excluded from the calculation.