Yamaha Motors may be best known for its motorcycles, but the company is increasingly getting involved in the development of motors for electric motorcycles and cars.
Last year, Yamaha showed off new electric motor systems ranging from 35 kW (47 hp) to 150 kW (200 hp). The smaller motors were designed for electric motorcycles, while the higher-output motors are capable of powering cars. For example, EVs such as the Chevy Bolt and the new VW ID.4 use 150 kW motors.
Now Yamaha has introduced a 350 kW (469 hp) electric drivetrain, which is capable of powering much more demanding vehicles. The new powertrain, which has an operating voltage of 800 V, is intended for installation in hyper-EVs and other high-output applications.
The motor, gearbox, inverter and electronic speed controller are all housed in the same assembly, delivering what Yamaha calls “the industry’s highest class in output density.” It also lends itself to the installation of multiple units in a single vehicle. Two of the new Yamaha motors would provide an electric hypercar with 700 kW (938 hp) of power—Model S Plaid territory. Three would deliver a screaming 1,050 kW (1,408 hp), enough to go up against a Bugatti Chiron.
Yamaha has also demonstrated a skateboard chassis that could incorporate four of these motors, enabling an all-wheel-drive vehicle with total output of 1,400 kW (1,877 hp).
The company is now accepting orders for commissioned prototype development, and plans to leverage its existing production resources to develop more electric drivetrains based on clients’ custom requirements.