Two days ago we reported that Kawasaki Motors has made it official: they’re going electric. All Kawasaki motorcycles (produced for developed nations) will have electric variants by the year 2035.
This ambitious goal from a company that, on the cusp of 2022, has exactly zero electric motorcycles available for sale in their lineup. However, Kawasaki says they’ll have at least ten electric models available by 2025. In terms of research and development for a company that size, this is light speed production.
The Impact of Kawasaki Electric Bikes?
The electric bikes will hit the Japanese, European, Canadian, US, and Australian markets. The company is also working on hybrid and hydrogen-powered bikes. Kawasaki’s main goal is environmentally-friendly transportation.
Motorcycles Are Safer?
New riders who found motorcycles during the pandemic as a great way to spend time outdoors, continue to drive sales. Hopefully existing riders, too, can come to grips with our inevitable electric future. In the past, the public tended to view motorcycles as a dangerous form of transportation. These days, though, as more people are conscious of transmissible diseases on public transportation, motorcycles can become the “safer” option.
Quiet, neighborhood-friendly electric bikes can really lean into that image, too. But what about Kawasaki’s dual sports, or their sport tourers?
Kawasaki holds about 1% of the total global motorcycle market share. Of the large motorcycle manufacturers, they are the only company that has set definite all-electric goals. Their goals are more ambitious than, for example, Honda, who has set a vague timeline (2050 but with no goals). Yamaha is aiming to make 90% of their motorcycle production electric by 2050.
Can Kawasaki Pull It Off?
With the coming all-electric future, where will that leave Kawasaki’s current fleet? Will they convert them, or are they reimagining everything? Kawasaki recently reintroduced the KLR650. That KLR is legendary for its go-anywhere, do anything capabilities. Converting it to electric could mean a severe reduction in its mileage. Dirt bikes are a bit easier, but sport tourers? The company must be banking on technology’s rapid advances, because right now no electric bikes come close to eating the mileage-per-day their ICE brethren can.
A comprehensive electric-vehicle charging infrastructure plan lags even in high population density areas. Charging ports for these vehicles haven’t even been standardized yet! Hopefully Kawasaki has something up their collective sleeves to make this future vision a workable reality; otherwise we’ll all be keeping our gas-powered Kwaks for some time.
Are you looking forward to, or dreading, our all-electric future? Have you ridden an electric bike yet?
UDPATE: A Kawasaki representative has not said that not “every motorcycle sold” will be electric, just that there will be electric variants of all major models for developed countries.