Are eco-friendly motorbikes the future, or the now?

Oliver van Bilsen living with an electric BMW C evolution scooter electric motorbike historic

(Contributed post for our eco-friendly UK readers)

With air pollution responsible for some 50,000 deaths a year in Britain, electric vehicles may just be the future. However, their expensive price tags and charging mishaps mean that many people avoid them completely.

Electric cars may be well-known, but electric motorcycles are now enjoying their day and come with all of the torque and speed of your typical petrol or diesel motorcycle. The future is as exciting as it is eco-efficient!

Current laws

UK law currently states that, should an electric motorbike be limited to 15mph, include a motor with an output of 250 watts or less and have pedals, the vehicle is legally an electric bicycle. Therefore, anyone aged 14 and over can ride it.

However, if an electric motorcycle is instead restricted to 30mph, UK law deems this vehicle a 30mph 50cc petrol scooter. This means that, while riding it on motorways would be legally out of the question, anyone aged 16 or over can ride it if they have a Provisional moped licence. Electric motorbikes capable of topping 30pmh are treated as small motorcycles, and riders must hold a valid CBT certificate.

In 2015, the UK government agreed to align electric motorcycles with cars in regards to grants. This meant that, in total, £7.5 million was made available to slash 20% off the purchase price – capped at £1,500 – of an electric bike.

Electric motorbikes of the now

Kalashnikov electric motorcycle
Kalashnikov electric motorcycle

There are several impressive electric motorcycles on the current market. The Kalashnikov IZH boasts a range of almost 100 miles from just one charge with a maximum power of 15kW; the vehicle was even utilised by Russian police during last year’s World Cup. The vehicle will now be used for police duties at mass-participation events.

For now, vehicles such as the Kalashnikov and those similar may be aimed at police duties – but, as with electric cars, electric motorcycles are available in various shapes and sizes.

What the future holds

Electric vehicles still suffer from a huge amount of depreciation but, with air pollution levels rising, action needs to be taken. For this reason, it’s likely that we’ll see an influx of electric motorcycles on our roads in the foreseeable future.

Such models, still with all of the speed of a traditional motorcycle, include the Vectrix Electric VX1 model. This award-winning e-scooter is capable of 100mph and has a range of 280km from a single charge. Furthermore, as the motorcycle can be purchased with different-sized batteries, you can purchase the ideal size for you and so lessen the impact on the environment.

The Italian city of Modena has also created its own range of eco-friendly, electronic bikes, with Energica’s EsseEsse9 being one of the best. This model is capable of speeds up to 125mph and can be fully charged in 30 minutes.

If you’re considering investing in an electric motorcycle for business use, keep in mind that this kind of vehicle can be worthwhile for solo trips and shorter journeys while you save your car for more ambitious journeys where its use is strictly necessary.

As a business owner, you can find the best prices for fleet insurance to put your traditional vehicle and eco-friendly motorbike on a shared premium. In doing this, you can save money on not only fuel but also time.

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