Typically, Honda and Yamaha see themselves as competitors in the two-wheeled space, but today it seems that the two brands are going to work together, to further along the process of bringing electric motorcycles to market.
The partnership sees Honda and Yamaha working with Saitama City (just north of Tokyo), in order to begin testing an electric motorcycles rental program. The project aims to put 30 small electric motorcycles (really electric scooters at this point) onto the roadways, with charging and battery swap stations available.
The venture not only helps Saitama City work towards its carbon emission goals (it has a similar program for automobiles), but the venture also lets Honda and Yamaha hone their EV motorcycle programs.
Both Honda and Yamaha have been working on electric motorcycle concepts that were rumored for production. As such, Honda is expected to release an electric version of the iconic Super Cub motorcycle design, and Yamaha is already late in delivering its PES1 electric street bike, which was slated for a 2016 arrival.
Partnering with Saitama City though, Honda and Yamaha can begin testing and building the support infrastructure and riding programs that will fuel these EV motorcycle projects. They may be behind schedule, but these two brands are making real progress in the space.
Source: Honda & Yamaha