Details of Kawasaki’s first electric motorcycles revealed
By: The Staff August 8, 2023
Kawasaki has been making some news lately, with online reports saying that the Japanese manufacturer is on the verge of launching its first electric motorcycles. According to data submitted to Australia for homologation, two electric Ninjas are getting ready to be launched and will be called e-1 and Z e-1.
Kawasaki Ninja EVKawasaki has revealed more details about two electric Ninjas with homologation data in Australia. (Photo: Kawasaki)
At last year’s EICMA show in Milan, Kawasaki revealed a glimpse of its electric models, generating some buzz for the first electric motorcycle to come from the iconic Japanese brand. The electric motorcycles that were announced at EICMA were slated to have 15-hp motors (or about 11kW). However, that seems to have been adjusted down to 12-hp (or 9kW). Although, some reports speculate that this may be the difference between peak power vs. sustained.
According to Cycle World, the two electric models both share the same basic platform with a steel tube frame and an 11kW electric motor, which will allow Europeans to ride on the street with a learner’s license. Dual batteries give a total capacity of 3kWh and feed an electric motor (mounted in place of the transmission). The single-ratio setup eliminates the need for shifting, but Kawasaki retains the rear foot-operated brake instead of the scooter-style handbrake.
Kawasaki previously announced that it would build a hybrid-electric motorcycle in 2024, and it also plans to develop a hydrogen-powered bike that is planned for around 2030. However, the hydrogen machine is part of a collaboration with the other major Japanese manufacturers, which recently announced a partnership to develop the engines.
With Kawasaki seeking type approval for production (i.e., homologation) in Australia, it could mark the first entry for a Japanese brand into the electric motorcycle segment, joining LiveWire, Zero, Fuell, Verge, Cake, and others. But questions remain if these models will make it to North American dealerships.