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Yamaha Divide: Concept

February 23, 2012
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Ever wonder why the big 4 motorcycle companies are not jumping on the electric bike wagon? Well apparently atleast one of them is waiting in the wings with an innovative design and a prototype ready to manufacture when the technologies are ready and affordable…specifically the lithium battery technology.

The Yamaha Divide is a concept electric bike that first showed its face at the 2003 Tokyo Motor Show.  The Tokyo Motor show is known for showcasing the most innovative products of the future. The Divide electric bike was one of the stars of the yamaha booth.

Count on if electric bikes ever become a craze to see yamaha and other mass producing bikes as beautiful as this one, and mass production will mean descent price. But descent price might be too much for the average consumer..the whole reason why the electric bike wagon has stalled.

At a recent Tokyo auto show  i spoke with a leading engineer at yamaha about the divide and got some interesting information. Today in 2012 if the yamaha divide was mass produced in the low tens of thousands, he  estimates  its retail cost after production and profit at the dealerships to be around $1200.  This is with lithium battery giving it 20 mile range and brushless electric motor with a 15mph top speed.  Yamaha has for now  decided that they cannot sell 10,000 units at that price with those performance numbers and thus the reason it is not being produced.

Also they are nervous about service hassles because lithium batteries in their current state are not reliable and do not last as many charges as yamaha deems saleable.

SO for now Yamaha is sticking to the easy business model of selling gassers.

Eric has been involved in the electric bike industry since 2002 when he started a 6000 square foot brick and mortar Electric Bike store in downtown San Francisco. He is a true believer that small electric vehicles can change the way we operate and the way we think.