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Yamaha Motor's Push for Smart Power in the Medium-term Growth Strategy Developing Electric Motorcycles

July 14, 2010

On February 12, 2010, Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd. (the "Company") announced that it would focus on personal mobility and engines, in line with its Frontier 2020 long-term vision. The Company's medium-term growth strategy concentrates on four key domains: introducing affordably-priced motorcycles in emerging nations; simultaneously increasing the appeal and profitability of motorcycles in the ASEAN region; developing next-generation, environmentally friendly engines; and developing and marketing Smart Power technologies and products. The Company plans to invest 62 billion yen in these projects during 2010 through 2012.

With the introduction of the Yamaha EC-03 zero-emission electric commuter vehicle, the Company continues its pursuit of electric motorcycles featuring Smart Power technologies, described in detail below.

Meeting Environmental Challenges

By 2030, the world's energy demand is expected to be about 1.5 times higher than the level in 2006. This has triggered a significant rise in CO2 emissions and growing environmental concern. Governments around the world are addressing issues surrounding vehicles' fossil fuel consumption, with incentives for fuel-efficient cars, stricter emissions regulations and other measures. Meanwhile, leaders are working to create the society of tomorrow, in which urban functions are regrouped or decentralized. They envision a new structure in which EVs play a key role, and are helping popularize the vehicles by building EV charging stations and related infrastructure. Automakers are also playing a part in this global shift toward a low-carbon society, accelerating the development and commercialization of EVs and other vehicles driven by next-generation power sources.

In the new society, automobiles may be employed for long distances, but small motorcycles offer excellent mobility for easy short-distance travel with their fuel efficiency, affordable price, and space-saving design. They will provide still greater convenience and ease of use when they are powered by electricity.

History of Smart Power

Smart Power is the Company's generic name for next-generation power sources offering high environmental performance. Specifically, Smart Power includes EVs, fuel-cell and hybrid vehicles.

Our push for development of Smart Power extends beyond motorcycles to electric golf cars, wheelchairs and outboard motors, among other Smart Power products across a variety of categories. Thus, the Company has been working to meet its social responsibilities by manufacturing environmentally friendly transportation equipment. The effort continues, in tandem with its decades-long commitment to support a more fulfilling life for people around the world.

Smart Power for motorcycles dates back to the 1980s, reaching a landmark in 1991 when the Company exhibited the FROG electric motorcycle as a reference vehicle in the Tokyo Motor Show. In 1993, the Company marketed the world's first electrically power assisted bicycle, the PAS, and in 2003 announced the development of a fuel-cell vehicle. Twenty years on, the Company continues its aggressive research and development of Smart Power, on the road to commercializing the technology.

Smart Power Moving Forward

Yamaha enters the global market for electric motorcycles

Starting with the 2010 launch of the EC-03 in Japan, the Company is entering the market for electric motorcycles, with an eye toward advancing overseas. The Company plans to introduce electric motorcycles in the markets of Taiwan and Europe in 2011. Demand for electric motorcycles in Japan, Taiwan and Europe is forecast to reach 300,000 to 500,000 units in the mid-2010s.

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.


Overview of the Yamaha Motor strategy


・Begin marketing the EC-03 in Japan in 2010.


・Introduce electric motorcycles in Taiwan and Europe in 2011.


・Work to gain the highest share in the worldwide electric motorcycle market.

Expanding the electric motorcycle lineup

The newly released EC-03 will spearhead the development of the Yamaha electric motorcycle lineup going forward.

The Company will expand its electric motorcycle lineup to include models for business use. By the mid-2010s, the Company will have introduced three or four different types of models.

Heading toward 2020, the Company will further expand the lineup by developing models offering high output, advanced function and affordable price. This development effort will focus on bolstering core technologies for batteries, motors and control systems.


Overview of the Yamaha Motor developmental roadmap for electric motorcycles


・Release three or four model variations by the mid-2010s.


・Expand the model lineup heading toward 2020.


・Bolster core technologies for batteries, motors and control systems.

Building the market environment for promoting electric motorcycles

After introducing the Yamaha Passol electric commuter in 2002 in Japan, the Company promoted it by donating the products to local municipalities and confirming that the infrastructure for recharging Passols was being put in place. The Company has also worked to increase public recognition of the Passol. From 2010, the Company is stepping up its promotions, implementing new sales techniques and providing a number of test-ride opportunities. Meanwhile, it is maintaining close cooperative relationships with local municipalities - crucial to developing the recharging infrastructure and new urban environment needed for the EV to take hold and penetrate the market. Toward that end, the Company has joined the Council for the Hamamatsu Pilot Program for Next-generation Environmentally Friendly Vehicles. Beginning in September, will launch EC-03 verification testing in Hamamatsu City (Shizuoka Prefecture).


Overview of the Yamaha Motor Plan for developing the EV market


・Establish cooperative relationships with local municipalities.


・Introduce new sales techniques.


・Provide many test-ride opportunities.

Electric Motorcycles - Feel the winds of change

The EC-03 puts us on the road toward the low-carbon society of the future, but it is only a first step. Yamaha Motor envisions greater strides ahead in its pursuit of the electric motorcycle.

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