On July 19, 2021, Yamaha Motor Company announced its intention to achieve full lifecycle carbon neutrality for all its products by 2050. This includes both emissions that are a direct result of business activities and, more importantly, emissions that are further down the Yamaha value chain.
What does this mean? Looking at the Yamaha Integrated Report for 2021, we can see what Yamaha essentially means by this second part: “emissions from products we sold to people”… In other words, emissions from internal combustion engines for motorcycles, boats and others are, in a word, a significant part of the Yamaha Motor Company business.
This is the largest proportion of Yamaha-related emissions, compared to which the emissions from the production process are quite modest. To achieve this goal, Yamaha plans to continue developing and producing battery-powered electric vehicles, including electric motorcycles, scooters and bicycles.
As expected, Yamaha plans to continue to use Leaning Multi-Wheel technology like the Niken and Tricity 300, with several more models based on it. Some of them will certainly be electric, but Yamaha has not published any specifics on this yet. In addition, Yamaha, which has been in the business of electric bicycles since the 1980s, plans to expand its lineup as global demand for e-bikes grows. When it comes to motorcycles and scooters, Yamaha expects electric models to account for 90% of the total motorcycle production by 2050.
Strategy for achieving full carbon neutrality
Of course, the most important part of the announced strategy to achieve full carbon neutrality is the development of electric vehicles, but another small but important point is the creation of carbon neutral fuels as a buffer between the era of internal combustion engines and electric vehicles during the phase of phasing out internal combustion engines over the next 29 years. …
Will motorcycles leave the scene according to Yamaha? Unlikely. In chapter “Striving for Sustainable Growth” the company stated the following:
Motorcycles and three-wheelers make sense as mobility options because of their flexibility in movement, and in addition, they have significantly less impact on the environment due to their compact size. We believe that converting motorcycles and three-wheeled motor vehicles into carbon neutral modes of transport through electrification and other options will make them extremely attractive to eco-conscious consumers who value logical solutions, especially among younger generations around the world.
In addition, Yamaha Motor will be moving away from these vehicles to introduce entirely new forms of carbon-neutral personal mobility, realizing its long-term vision of the ART of Human Capability.
Here Yamaha marketers used a play on words: ART from English translates as Art, and in this case stands for Advancing Robotics, Rethinking Solution, Transforming Mobility, that is, Advanced robotics, Rethinking solutions, Transformation of transport.
Yamaha has not yet named clear figures on plans to develop motorcycles on internal combustion engines and electric traction, but the schedule in the report gives some idea of the company’s intentions. By 2030, Yamaha plans to gradually increase the development of electric vehicles, and after passing this point, significantly increase the number of electric cycles in the product line and begin to seriously reduce the number of motorcycles produced with internal combustion engines.
By about 2035, there will be a small number of motorcycles capable of using carbon neutral fuels, but the electric segment will dominate. About 2.6 percent of Yamaha motorcycles are projected to be electric by 2030, 20 percent by 2035, and finally 90 percent by 2050.