Concept of the day: Yamaha’s motorcycle-inspired sports car

October 20, 2015 § Leave a comment


yamaha conceptYamaha is promising a small sports car concept for the Tokyo Motor Show next week: among six world premieres, the Japanese bike-maker is going to display “an autonomous motorcycle-riding humanoid robot”, a recreational off-road vehicle, e-scooters and electric-assist bicycles, all part of its vision of the “growing world of personal mobility.” Not much info on the car yet, beyond the release statement that it “is inspired by motorcycles and expresses the Unique Style of Yamaha”, but I might make a guess that it could be electric, or at least very lightweight and highly efficiency-optimised, given Yamaha’s previous collaboration with Gordon Murray Design on the Motiv.e city car. But what of the Motiv.e? I understand it’s still intended for production, though that’s gone a bit quiet of late.

In other early-week news…

  • Ubitricity EV-chargers – which can be mounted into existing lampposts – are now on trial in the UK: the first one in action is in Chiswick, west London, overseen by Hounslow Council. These low-cost, low-impact, space-saving solutions incorporate built-in metering.
  • Oslo: the new city authority is planning to ban private cars from the centre by 2019, reports the Guardian. Presumably including all the EVs currently commuting into the city, incentivised by some very hefty tax breaks? This is, though, only referring to a relatively small central zone said to be home to only 1000 people, though it does contain some major shopping malls (presumably well-connected by public transport.) Brave move, anyway, and I’d vote for something similar in London, right now – or at least, the exclusion of non-electrified cars, as a start.
  • And speaking of public transport, ABB is launching an automated overhead pantograph for fast-charging of electric buses in 4-6 minutes, sufficient to enable an electric bus to remain in operation 24/7. More here.
  • San Francisco: Scoot Networks, an on-demand e-scooter hire service, is adding 10 (four-wheeled) Nissan New Mobility Concepts (rebranded Renault Twizys) to its fleet, which should be a very fun way indeed to get around SF… More here at Wired, enthusing about ‘France’s funkiest car’.
  • Wired also has a lengthy piece about the Arcimoto SRK three-wheeler, making the point that its scooter-type handlebars mean massive cost-savings, a simplified 1000-part structure and thus easy, low-cost production; its potential for emerging markets is also noted, as well as for local use/city commuting/carshares (like the Twizy). It appears to be one of the cleverer microvehicles, and the nice thing about it, I think, is that it’s not even pretending to be a car or car-substitute.
  • National Electric Vehicle Sweden has sold the rights to the electrified 9-3 saloon – but not the Saab brand-name – to the Turkish government for a state-backed EV-making enterprise. Apparently insolvent NEVS still intends to return with an all-new electric Saab, reports Autocar, but this definitely comes under the believe-it-when-you-see-it category.

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