As of today, Kawasaki does not have an electric vehicle in its entire portfolio. This will change soon. Kawasaki plans to electrify all its motorbikes for the markets in Japan, Europe, the USA, Canada and Australia by 2035. The Japanese manufacturer includes both pure battery-electric and hybrid motorbikes.
Kawasaki wants to introduce at least ten electrified models by 2025 and the manufacturer is also aiming for electrification in off-road quads.
Five models with BEV or HEV drive are to be introduced by 2025. Kawasaki also announced its intention to develop motorbikes with fuel cell drive but has not yet revealed further details.
In 2019, the development of an electric motorbike called the EV Endeavor was officially confirmed for the first time, and the circle of interested parties was fed in 2020 with a few sparse key points and videos.
The introduction of ten BEV and HEV models by 2025 is to be managed by an outsourced business unit. To this end, Kawasaki Heavy Industries reports that it has spun off a subsidiary called Kawasaki Motors. The parent company will continue to focus on the energy business, including hydrogen, while motorbikes and off-road quads will now become part of a smaller unit with greater management flexibility.
Kawasaki’s motorbike sales amounted to 380,000 vehicles in 2020.
The motorbike industry is still struggling with the shift to electrified powertrains. Honda says it wants to decarbonise its business by 2050, but has hardly published any product plans so far. All that is known is that Honda plans to launch an electric model for private use in 2024.
Yamaha Motor has made public its intention to initially run 20 per cent of its motorbikes on electricity by 2035 and 90 per cent by 2050. After all, four Japanese motorbike manufacturers; namely Honda, Kawasaki, Suzuki and Yamaha, agreed in April 2019 to cooperate on the standardisation of interchangeable batteries for electric motorcycles.
The quartet calls itself the Swappable Battery Consortium for Electric Motorcycles.