Recent developments from Kawasaki have been catching attention, as online sources suggest that the renowned Japanese manufacturer is poised to introduce its initial lineup of electric motorcycles. As per information submitted for homologation in Australia, it’s evident that two electric Ninja models are in the pipeline, anticipated to bear the names e-1 and Z e-1.
During the previous year’s EICMA exhibition in Milan, Kawasaki provided a tantalizing preview of its forthcoming electric models, creating a stir as it marked the pioneering electric motorcycle from the revered Japanese marque. The initial details unveiled at EICMA indicated that the electric motorcycles were designed with 15-horsepower motors, approximately equivalent to 11kW. However, there appears to have been a revision, now settling at 12 horsepower (about 9kW). Nevertheless, certain reports conjecture that this variance might be attributed to distinctions between peak power and sustained performance.
As per Cycle World, the two electric models are built upon an identical foundational platform featuring a steel tube frame and an 11kW electric motor. This configuration will enable European riders to legally traverse the streets with a learner’s license. A pair of batteries, working in unison, yield a cumulative capacity of 3kWh, effectively supplying the electric motor situated in lieu of a traditional transmission. The system operates with a single ratio, obviating the necessity for gear shifts. Despite this streamlined approach, Kawasaki preserves the rear foot-operated brake, eschewing the scooter-style handbrake design.
Earlier, Kawasaki unveiled its intention to construct a hybrid-electric motorcycle set for a 2024 release, alongside its plans for the development of a hydrogen-powered motorcycle projected for approximately 2030. Notably, the hydrogen-powered model is a product of collaborative efforts among leading Japanese manufacturers. These manufacturers recently declared a partnership aimed at jointly creating the engines for such advanced motorcycles.
As Kawasaki pursues type approval for production, or homologation, in Australia, this move could potentially herald the inaugural venture of a Japanese brand into the realm of electric motorcycles. This would position Kawasaki alongside existing players like LiveWire, Zero, Fuell, Verge, Cake, and various others. However, uncertainties persist regarding whether these models will ultimately find their way to dealerships across North America.