Yamaha Developing World's First Hybrid Motorcycle
TOKYO August 29 2002 -Dow Jones repeated a Kyodo News service story that reported that Yamaha Motor Co. has completed a prototype of what it hopes will be the world's first gas-electric hybrid motorcycle, Kyodo News reported, citing company sources.
The Hybrid Commuter, equipped with an electric motor and gas engine, achieves a mileage of 250 kilometers per liter (kpl), much higher than that for regular motorcycles, the sources said, according to Kyodo.
Japanese hybrid cars have already hit the market. Toyota Motor Corp. and Honda Motor Co. - the only two automakers in the world that sell hybrid passenger cars - launched their models in the late 1990s.
Japanese automakers are enthusiastic about developing hybrid vehicles, which are more environmentally friendly than conventional gas-only cars because their exhaust contains less harmful substances.
Hybrid cars also have a higher fuel efficiency.
According to the Yamaha sources, the mileage of the Hybrid Commuter is more than 100 kpl higher than the 146 kpl of Honda's Super Cub 50 Custom, currently regarded as the world's most fuel-efficient motorcycle.
Yamaha's Hybrid Commuter, with a bicycle-like frame, is 185 centimeters long and 113 cm high.
The motorcycle uses an electrical motor installed in the pedals to start up and then switches to the small gas engine placed under the saddle when the speed reaches 5 km per hour, the report said.