Yamaha goes electric

Yamaha goes electric

Among the concepts Yamaha brought to the Tokyo Motor Show was the FC-me, a fuel-cell-powered scooter. Yamaha showed off its research into alternative fuel motorcycles with the FC-me and other electric and hybrid bikes. The FC-me is too small for a compressed hydrogen gas tank, so it uses a methanol-water mix for its fuel. Methanol has been used as a source of hydrogen in experimental fuel-cell power packs for laptops and seems a logical choice for the scooter. The FC-me's 150 pounds is pushed along by a 1.25-horsepower motor, which isn't much, but the high torque of the motor should give it better performance than a moped. Yamaha also had a couple of hybrids to show off, which, given that bikes get very good mileage compared to a car, may seem unnecessary. But why not use the hybrid system to capture a bike's wasted energy? Plus, adding that electric motor gives greater acceleration and the potential for running in stealthy all-electric mode.

About the author

Wayne Cunningham reviews cars and writes about automotive technology for CNET. Prior to the Car Tech beat, he covered spyware, Web building technologies, and computer hardware. He began covering technology and the Web in 1994 as an editor of The Net magazine. He's also the author of "Vaporware," a novel that's available as a Nook e-book.


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