Kawasaki Ninja E-1 and Z E-1 Electrics Ready for Launch
Team Green’s first electric streetbikes get homologated in Australia
At EICMA last November, Kawasaki promised it would debut its first electric streetbikes this year, and it now appears an official launch for the electric Ninja and Z is imminent. Thanks to new homologation data submitted in Australia, we can now confirm the models will be marketed as the Ninja e-1 and Z e-1.
The homologation filings included images of both models in their final production trim. Apart from the new e-1 branding and the addition of regulatory labels, the final designs look pretty much identical to the prototypes shown in Milan.
The Ninja e-1 (which goes by the model NX011A) and the Z e-1 (NR011A) share the same bodywork as their respective gas-powered 400 models, but the brakes and wheels are retained from the earlier Ninja 300 and Z300 models.
The wheel selection is a reflection of the e-1 as lower-powered European A1 license compliant models. Kawasaki previously announced the models will be powered by 11 kW (14.8 hp) motors, which may explain the numbers in their model codes. The Australian homologation, however, lists a slightly lower net engine power of 9.0 kW (12.1 hp), though that might be a matter of peak versus sustained power output.
The homologation filing also confirms a wheelbase of 53.9 inches for both models, which matches the Z400 and Ninja 400. What’s more interesting are the listed tare weights. Kawasaki certified a tare weight of 135 kg (298 pounds) for the Z e-1 and 140 kg (309 pounds) for the Ninja e-1. The tare weight is typically the mass without fuel, but it’s not clear if that includes the batteries. Kawasaki previously stated the electric models will each be powered by two removable battery packs, weighing about 12 kg each, with a combined capacity of 3.0 kWh. If the weights do not include the batteries, then we are likely looking at a curb weight of around 350 pounds for the Z e-1 and 362 pounds for the Ninja e-1.
The Z e-1 and Ninja e-1 are expected to be the first in a range of alternative fuel products Kawasaki has in the works. Kawasaki says it expects to release a hybrid model “as part of the 2024 model range”, and a hydrogen-powered model is also in development. The “e-1” naming scheme on the electrics would also suggest that more powerful “e-2” models may be added down the road.