Honda, Yamaha, And Electric Scooters — Oh My
Honda & Yamaha Partner On Electric Projectby TJ Hinton, on
Saitama City, located within the Saitama Prefecture and about 25 km North of Tokyo, has begun a new chapter in its epic E-Kizuna Project. This initiative is all about providing an environment conducive to, well, saving the environment. Specifically, the city already has extensive infrastructure in place to provide convenient charging services for EV owners in a bid to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions. Honda and Yamaha have now entered into a sort of technology-sharing triumvirate to help enable and shape this effort. How noble, you say? Maybe, but it’s in their best interest since Yamaha already has an E-Vino EV scooter based on its Italian-influenced ICE Vino, and Honda has EV development in the pipe as well. Though these two builders are traditional foes, both in their domestic markets and abroad, the cooperation we see here speaks highly of their corporate character and enviro-stewardship.
Continue reading for more on the Honda-Yamaha partnership.
What’s It About?
The city has begun developing an EV-motorcycle rental and battery-exchange service that, on the one hand, will expose people to the joys of quiet and clean EV travel, and on the other, will remove the inconvenience of having to park and wait for the power pack to recharge. Just imagine— you’re out tooling around town running errands and such, and rather than parking for an hour or more, you can pull up to a station and swap your weak battery for a hot one. It’s almost as convenient as pulling into a filling station for a tankful of pusholine, and let’s face it, lack of convenience is one of the biggest issues working against widespread acceptance of EV technology. Of course, the proponents like to tout the zero carbon footprint of EV technology, but that doesn’t take into account how much carbon was produced building the thing or how much was produced generating the electricity used to charge it up. Sorry to rain on your parade guys, but these are really displaced carbon machines, but it is a huge step in the right direction.
That said, the E-Kizuna project is an admirable initiative, and it should serve as a microcosm for the further development of this burgeoning industry. Maybe even a model for the world to follow? We’ll see. Granted, tooling around a city that caters to EV travel is one thing; implementing it worldwide, or even U.S.-wide, is quite another. Still, you gotta start somewhere, and you gotta crawl before you can walk.