This is the first time that motorcycles have faced specific proposals regarding electrification, with the government committing to “consult this year on a phase out date of 2035, or earlier if a faster transition appears feasible, for the sale of new non-zero emission powered two and three wheelers (and other L category vehicles)”.
The Department for Transport plan goes on to state: “Zero emission motorcycles and other powered two wheelers are an efficient and clean form of mobility that can reduce congestion, improve urban air quality and reduce noise – we will take forward measures to remove these emissions, including consulting on a date to end the sale of new non-zero emission motorbikes, ensuring we support the development of new industrial opportunities for the UK.”
Despite motorcyclists’ hopes that two-wheelers would remain exempt from the combustion cull due to their relative minority on the roads, the report elaborates” “While cars and vans outnumber motorcycles on UK roads, motorcycles are an important and sizeable vehicle population, with 1.4 million licensed in 2020 and we do not want to see them remaining fossil fuelled as the rest of the vehicle fleet cleans up.”
Support for electric motorcycles is also detailed in the plan. Included in a package of “financial and non-financial incentives” is a further £582 million for plug-in car, van, taxi, and motorcycle grants until 2022-23, in order to reduce zero-emission vehicle purchase prices for consumers. Opportunities for zero emission light powered vehicles will also be explored through Zemo’s (formerly the Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership) partnership with the Motorcycle Industry Association (MCIA).