Kawasaki has announced that it will only sell electric motorcycles in developed markets by 2035. While it may sound like a definite shift to electric vehicles, the caveat is that Kawasaki will continue to manufacture and sell petrol-powered motorcycles in developing countries. But it’s a loaded statement from a brand which still doesn’t have a full-electric production model. But it’s definitely big news, considering Kawasaki is the first of the big four Japanese brands, including Honda, Yamaha and Suzuki to announce a future product strategy which will see a phasing out of petrol-powered engines.
The Kawasaki EV Endeavor electric motorcycle prototype was shown in 2020, but so far, a production model is yet to be unveiled.
It’s been known for sometime now that Kawasaki has been working on hydrogen-powered motorcycles, and those plans will continue. But for developing countries, which are expected to see a boom in motorcycle sales even over the next 10 years or so, petrol-powered engines will be manufactured and offered on sale, at lease for sometime to come.
“For motorcycle users, the experience of engine sound and vibration is very important. We want to keep the fun of such motorcycles and respond to the carbon-neutral era,” Kawasaki Heavy Industries president Yasuhiko Hashimoto said in a statement.
According to Kawasaki’s plans, the brand will debut 10 electric and hybrid motorcycles by 2025, including the development of five off-road models that will use “advanced fuel” power plants. The final goal is to completely switch over to electric motorcycles by 2035 in Japan, Europe, the US, Canada and Australia. Kawasaki also plans to develop engines that run on hydrogen.
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