The Nikkei reports that Honda Motor Co. and Yamaha Motor Co. will each launch battery-powered electric motorcycles. Yamaha is targeting a 2010 release date, Honda, a 2011 date.
Both firms hope to bring to market electric motorcycles that perform on a par with bikes with 50 cc engine displacements. The vehicles will be powered by high-performance lithium ion batteries.
Honda is developing a commercial motorcycle that can go up to 50 km (31 miles) on a single charge, according to the report. Honda is targeting Japan Post Service Co., which is considering a switch to electric motorcycles, as a potential customer. Honda also plans to develop low-cost, long-distance electric motorcycles for ordinary consumers.
Yamaha Motor plans to introduce an electric motorcycle that can travel more than 100 km (62 miles) on a single charge.
Since the two command a combined 30% share of the global motorcycle market, their moves could spark demand for environmentally friendly offerings at home and abroad.