Kawasaki has sort of always been known for blasting toward the future of motorcycling. I mean, it’s the only brand out there right now selling a $60,000 supercharged track-only bike with 230 horsepower. So when it sets its sights on changing itself for the future of two-wheel riding, it’s not going to half-ass the effort. In an announcement delivered in Tokyo on October 6th, the company delivered some ground-shaking announcements.
As part of a “business policy briefing discussion” the company dropped some extremely important news. Apparently the company will be launching ten new electric or electrified vehicles between now and 2025, which is a really short span of time for ten new product launches. Even more than that, however, the company pledges that it will only build electric motorcycles for traditional Western markets and Japan by 2035. That includes Australia, North America, and all of Europe. It doesn’t specifically say this is limited to motorcycles, so expect electric and hybrid side by sides and jet skis to join the roster as well.
Unfortunately the discussion was in Japanese and I don’t speak it, so I’m relying on reports from RideApart and Nikkei Asia news to source this news. If you speak Japanese, by all means, please watch the video below and confirm in the comments.
It’s fair to say that I’m a fan of electric motorcycles, and more of them coming to market can only be a good thing. As brands continue to develop motor and battery technology, the products will only continue to get better. I’d really love to see an electric Ninja in the next few years, and I certainly wouldn’t turn away an electric KLR adventurer. Maybe we aren’t too many years away from a battery-electric H2R track-only lap time monster. Time will tell.
Kawasaki has pledged that it will eventually phase out all vehicles powered solely by gasoline, but has not given a date for that to happen yet. This will depend largely on the development of charging infrastructure in the developing world. It would be hard to get Kawasaki products to all-electric in places like India, rural China, and Africa in the next 13 years, but once the infrastructure and market acceptance is there, the company will allegedly make it happen.
I, for one, welcome our new electric Green overlords.