A hot rod needs a high-performance powertrain. Yamaha has just the crate motor for your next project but it’s not internal combustion. No, it’s a high-performance electric motor. Even though there is not a lot of demand within Yamaha’s product portfolio its engineering team came up with this slick motor. That’s why it is making the drivetrain available to one and all. It says it is taking orders right now “for a high-performance electric motor prototype that is capable of producing the industry-leading high power density for automobiles and other types of vehicles.”
The compact motor can generate between 35kW and 200kW from what Yamaha calls “Interior Permanent Magnet Synchronous Motor.” More power gives less range so Yamaha says it will tailor the output to whatever the customer wants. It does this by “utilizing production technology that the company flexibly adapts to its various product groups.”
Currently, there are many companies that will swap a crate motor into your hot rod
This opens the door for more companies like Electric GT in Chatsworth, California. It will convert any ICE vehicle into an EV. With all of Europe and the UK banning ICE vehicles within the next few years, this might be an appealing and growing trend. Especially if the ban is adopted in the US. You could keep your banned vehicle and still drive it with electric power.
EV West is another company that specializes in Volkswagen conversions to electric power. It will help you custom make a conversion for one-offs or you can go with one of their kits for more common applications. This motor would be another alternative for a company like this.
Yamaha will even make the crate motor available to DIY motorcycle swaps
Yamaha is even going to make the motor available to motorcycle owners and even manufacturers. No specifics were released but there could be a huge market for motorcycle EV conversions in the future.
The motor is what Yamaha is calling a prototype at the moment so its availability will be limited. It is part of Yamaha’s “Transforming Mobility” push initiated at the end of 2018. According to its press release it is doing this to further its knowledge of markets that want such technology. This will help it adapt to the requirements of projects being contemplated right now or in the immediate future.
Yamaha uses this as a stalking horse to determine which markets might be open to these electric motors.
This is not the first electric motor Yamaha has manufactured. But it is the first motor targeted for such a wide range of vehicles like e-bicycles, electric marine engines, and electric scooters.
The possibility exists that at some point in the not-too-distant future it will be cost-prohibitive or outright prohibitive to drive ICE vehicles. If and when that day arrives you’ll need a reasonable alternative to keep driving your vintage or otherwise banned ICE vehicle. It’s something that should be on every enthusiast’s mind as we get closer to that day.