Yamaha has introduced an electric scooter to European markets as an extension of the company’s NEO line. Yamaha claim the electric NEO is a “50cc equivalent” scooter and is the first mass produced electric scooter built by the company to be sold in Europe. The “50cc equivalent” moniker simply means that this is an urban only scooter with limited viability beyond city traffic speeds. The scooter should have some advantages over its gas powered small displacement brethren as all the torque will be available immediately.
The Yamaha NEO electric scooter is powered by a direct drive wheel hub featuring an air-cooled brushless motor. Yamaha says that the gearless design of the motor both reduces power loss over traditional powertrains and eliminates virtually all engine noise making the NEO almost silent. It is claimed the electric NEO produces 55dB at seven metres compared to a gas equivalent producing 71dB. The motor is powered by an 8kg lithium-ion battery that resides, as expected, under the seat. The fully charged battery should provide a range of approximately 37km. While the scooter is sold with one battery, it is equipped to carry two batteries should an additional battery be purchased to extend the range. Interestingly the range goes to 68km not 74km with two batteries. Does this mean that carrying an additional 8kgs reduces range by 6km? That is an interesting equation we will leave the physics enthusiast to figure out.
The scooters computer controls monitor the motor and battery and will switch from the first battery to the second only when the first battery is discharged and can be done at a stop or while on the go depending on circumstances. There is both a Standard mode and an ECO mode which lowers top speed by 5kmh although the increase in range by doing so seems minimal.
The batteries can be charged while in the scooter or removed and charged indoors on a standard outlet. A full charge requires 8 hours for each battery.
There is no indication or reason to expect the Yamaha NEO electric scooter to arrive in Canada any time soon.
Yamaha lists the NEO’s key features as:
New electric scooter for the 2.5kW AM licence class
Yamaha Integrated Power Unit (YIPU)
Hub-mounted brushless electric motor with direct drive
Lightweight swingarm with built-in Motor Control Unit (MCU)
Quick and controllable acceleration
Universal riding position for riders of different physiques.
Removable 1kWh 50.4V/19.2A lithium-ion battery, weight 8 kg, 225 x 375 x 105 mm
Eight hours full charge time with standard charger
Single battery range approx. 37 km* – with the possibility to connect a second battery**
STD and ECO ride modes
Agile, comfortable and easy to use
27 litres of underseat storage for one jet helmet or a second battery
Simple, compact, universal styling
Full LED front and rear lighting and LED indicators
Spacious footboard area
Die-cast aluminium grab bar
Lightweight 13-inch cast alloy wheels with low-resistance tyres
KYB front forks with corrosion-resistant nickel-plated inner tubes
Detachable rear wheel rim for simple tyre changes
Compact and easy-to-read LCD instrument panel
Connectivity to scooter’s CCU via Yamaha’s MyRide smartphone app