OTOH, I'd rather have a Yamaha piano than a Steinway.
Yamaha's e-bike aspirations have been known for years. This move by them is utterly unsurprising. I'll bet it will be a very competent bike. What I wonder is...where are they going to sell them? Bike shops or Yamaha motorsports dealers? Or both? Will my motorcycle/snowmobile/quad dealer have to start looking for bike mechanics?
FWIW, lots of e-bikes are now sold in outdoor/hunting stores like Cabela's. People use them like ATVs to hunt/fish/etc (typically they are fatbikes with considerable rack/cargo carrying equipment). I would not be at all surprised to see this type of bike at your neighborhood ATV/moto/sled dealer. They'll have different graphics and different marketing but there's certainly a market for them outside of traditional bike shops.
That's what I was told by my local Yamaha dealer. They won't be selling them. Their impression of the lineup is that's it's similar to Trek's...from old folks on paved trails to shredders on the singletrack.
Yamaha had a sizeable booth at Sea Otter which fit right in with their typical presence at Laguna Seca being the site of MotoGP at one time and WSBK. They had their eBikes there and I spoke with the rep for some time. Reality is, Yamaha actually invented the eBike but has had no North American presence till now. They were good looking bikes, too. I bleed Yamaha Blue so if went out of my mind and I had to buy an ebike, it would be a Yamaha.
What is Yamaha's share of the ebike market these days? My Mum has a Giant hybrid e-bike with a Yamaha motor which seems to work well but while I hear a lot about Bosch, I can't remember seeing much of Yamaha recently.