Subsidy for electric motorcycles

The UK Government is about to provide a £1500 (about $2400) subsidy on the price of electric motorcycles and scooters to encourage their uptake.

While subsidies for electric and hybrid cars are provided by most European countries, Asian nations, Canada and most American states, only California so far includes motorcycles.

Meanwhile, the Australian Government has refused to offer subsidies on any electric vehicle.

In fact, the Luxury Car Tax acts as a disincentive since many electric or hybrid vehicles cost more than the price threshold.

The only concessions are in Victoria where there is a $100 rego discount on hybrid and electric vehicles and the ACT which waives stamp duty on electric vehicles.

While many people like the idea of an electric motorcycle or scooter, the main concerns are range and price.

Range is consistently increasing with new battery technology while a price subsidy could be just the incentive needed to give the electric vehicle industry a real boost.

UK and Californian electric motorcycle and scooter subsidies could be the start of a trend around the world which could encourage more manufacturers to produce more and electric motorcycles.

Harley-Davidson has their Livewire waiting in the wings, probably for just such a financial incentive.

The only electric motorcycles and scooters currently available in Australia are cheap Chinese electric mopeds and Zero electric motorcycles.

BMW has the C evolution electric scooter and Victory has the Empulse TT electric motorcycle, but they are not imported into Australia. Perhaps a subsidy could encourage them.

Subsidy welcomed

The British Government already provides a subsidy for electric cars and Motorcycle Industry Association CEO Steve Kenward welcomes the addition of electric motorcycle and scooters.

“This opens the door to zero-emission transport to people who have not been able to afford electric cars, which tended to have been a ‘lifestyle choice’,” he says.

“Motorcycles and scooters are an extremely accessible form of electric transport and have the capacity to significantly reduce congestion, since they share all the advantages of riding a regular powered two wheeler.

“Riders can filter through traffic, often use bus lanes and usually get closer to their end destination, cutting door to door journey times. 

“Motorcycles are exempt from congestion charges with ‘fuel’ costing the equivalent of a penny a mile and nothing to pay for vehicle tax, plus cheaper or free parking.

“Switching to an electric motorcycle or scooter could result in huge savings for the average commuter, or for businesses which operate fleet vehicles.”

The UK grant will be made available for new road registered electric motorcycles and scooters reaching certain quality criteria, which include having a battery with five-year warranty and a good range. Details of subsidy eligibility are on the OLEV website.

The future of internal combustion engines is limited. Electric motorcycles are the future, whether we like it or not.

In fact, the Bundersrat, a top legislative body in Germany, has just voted to ban all internal combustion engines by 2030!

3 Comments

  1. I like the idea of it all, being in the UK and seeing how the EU have made it increasingly difficult to get a licence, and how the UK roads are a difficult environment for bikes due to the sheer volume of traffic, I can see how getting a few people out of their cars and onto bikes can only help long term. The £1500 to the taxpayer is a drop compared to the reduction in congestion, road maintenance, parking charges and parking space requirements.

    With an increase of bikes on the road there is an increase of bike awareness from car drivers, which can only help safety.

    I do worry how a move to electric bikes are going to affect people like me who run companies that supply tuning products. With no engine modifications available what are people going to tune? It’ll only be suspension, brakes and styling to play with.

    1. the taxpayer is already paying massive amounts
      for new roads an uptake of people using electric
      bikes could lead to far less need for new infrastructure
      and cut noise , pollution and congestion in the urban areas

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