THE ASAHI SHIMBUN
October 7, 2021 at 18:48 JST
A prototype of a Kawasaki Heavy Industries Ltd. electric-powered motorcycle (Koichi Murakami)
The end of the road is nearing for the era of gas-powered motorcycles.
Kawasaki Heavy Industries Ltd., which currently produces only gas-powered motorcycles, announced on Oct. 6 that all of its main models sold in Japan and Western markets will run on electricity by 2035.
The announcement marked the first time the company has specified a date for making its motorcycles go electric.
The company has not decided on whether it will establish new brands or produce electricity-powered versions of its current models.
Kawasaki Heavy Industries said it will develop electric-powered models and hybrid models powered by electricity and gasoline. It plans to market 10 or more types of such models in developed nations by 2025.
The carbon-free movement has gained traction in the industry.
Yamaha Motor Co. in July said it wants 20 percent of its global sales of new motorcycles to be electric-powered in 2035 and 90 percent in 2050.
Currently, the ratio is less than 1 percent.
“Environmental regulations are expected to be reinforced globally, so this is an urgent challenge,” a Yamaha representative said.
Honda Motor Co. has not given a numerical goal for its electric-powered motorcycles, but it has been producing models for business use that run on electricity.
It plans to debut an electric model for personal use in 2024.
Four major motorcycle makers, including Suzuki Motor Corp., agreed in March to standardize replaceable batteries for electric-powered motorcycles and will promote “going electric” by improving battery convenience functions.
(This article was written by Koichi Murakami and Junichi Kamiyama.)
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