Yamaha wants to power some very fast EVs

The Yamaha name is often associated with high-performance motorcycles, but the company also wants to power some very fast electric cars. Last year, Yamaha announced plans to supply motors for other companies’ EVs. On Monday, the company followed that up with the announcement of a higher-output motor “intended for installation and use in hyper-EVs and […]

The Yamaha name is often associated with high-performance motorcycles, but the company also wants to power some very fast electric cars.

Last year, Yamaha announced plans to supply motors for other companies’ EVs. On Monday, the company followed that up with the announcement of a higher-output motor “intended for installation and use in hyper-EVs and other high-output applications,” according to a Yamaha press release.

Where the original motor had a quoted output of 35 kilowatts to 200 kw (47 horsepower to 268 hp), Yamaha said the new one produces 350 kw (469 hp). It’s compact, thanks to a design that integrates the inverter with the motor, and is designed to work with 800-volt electrical architecture, the company said.

A car powered by just one of these motors won’t trouble a current Tesla Model S, let alone planned electric supercars like the Rimac C_Two and Lotus Evija (both of which have claimed outputs in the four-figure range), but putting multiple motors together could create something very entertaining.

Yamaha 350-kw electric motor

Yamaha 350-kw electric motor

Yamaha didn’t discuss potential applications for the motor, but noted that it has the capability to build prototypes to clients’ specs on short notice.

Supplying electric motors is just one of many attempts by Yamaha to break into the auto industry over the years.

Yamaha previously supplied internal-combustion engines for the Ford Taurus SHO through the 1990s, and then for the Volvo S80 and XC90 through 2011. It was also a Formula One engine supplier for a time. The company also dabbled in becoming an automaker, with the Sports Ride concept from 2015, and the Motiv-E city car before that.

In its capacity as a motorcycle manufacturer, Yamaha was recently one of the companies agreeing on a global standard for battery swapping as well.