Yamaha taking orders for prototype high-performance electric motors; for cars and bikes, 47 hp to 268 hp

Yamaha announced last week that it has started taking orders from other original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) for its high-performance prototype electric motors for a variety of vehicles, including cars and motorcycles.

The prototype interior permanent magnet synchronous motor is capable of ‘industry-leading power density’ thanks to a high-efficiency segment conductor as well as advance casting and processing technologies, according to the Japanese manufacturer, and it is capable of producing up to 200 kW (268 hp). The motor will be either water-cooled or oil-cooled, depending on its intended application.

Yamaha will customise the prototype motor to the specific needs of individual customers ‘in short time spans’ using production methods that the company will adapt to various product groups, it said. The video footage below shows what appears to be an Alfa Romeo 4C being used as a test bed, and assuming the full 268 hp is used, this represents a 28 hp gain over the 1.8 litre turbo petrol engine the car comes with, as standard.

The Iwata-based manufacturer is also working on more compact applications, with outputs starting from 35 kW (47 hp). Incidentally, 47 hp is the European output limit for A2 motorcycle license holders on the continent, which means that the majority of motorcycle sizes will be catered for in Yamaha’s development of the electric motors; the flexibility for different products should also fit other forms such as sport bikes and tourers.

Yamaha has yet to state target output numbers for its bike application motors, though in terms of other electric bikes for comparison, the Energica Ego produces 145 hp and 200 Nm of torque, while the Harley-Davidson LiveWire produces 104 hp and 117 Nm of torque.

The larger of the above prototype motors could go into, among other things, a high-performance cruiser type of bike; might Yamaha do an electric reprise of its V4-engined muscle bike and call it the ‘EV-MAX’?

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