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Kawasaki motorcycles to go all electric by 2035

Kawasaki Heavy Industries prepares to shift into high gear and make all its bikes electric for developed countries by 2035.

Kawasaki Motors was spun off from the parent company on Friday.

“Outdoor leisure activity has been popular during the coronavirus pandemic. We will strengthen our environmental efforts with our sights set on post-pandemic lifestyles,” explained Yasuhiko Hashimoto, president of Kawasaki Heavy Industries. The parent company will focus on the energy business, including hydrogen, while peripheral operations such as motorcycles and rolling stock are spun off to boost management flexibility.

“Partnerships with other companies may be possible in the future,” said Hiroshi Ito, president of Kawasaki Motors. “Our company is open.”

The new motorcycle company will intend to increase sales by a factor of 2.4 to 1 trillion yen ($9 billion) and raise its operating profit margin to more than 8% from 6.1% by fiscal 2030 compared with the present fiscal year.

Kawasaki Heavy’s motorcycle sales came to 380,000 vehicles in 2020. Regardless of a global market share of only around 1%, Kawasaki has a significant presence in Japan and North America with its mainstay, brand-name large motorcycles. 

Demand is increasing for the vehicles in North America, and the company will invest 30 billion yen over five years in manufacturing facilities for them. Kawasaki will extend its production capacity at its plant in the U.S. state of Nebraska by March 2023. A new plant will also be constructed in Mexico, with production to begin in the fiscal year 2023.

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