Plug in grant extended to motorcycles: BMF Comments!
Electric motorcycles and scooters will now qualify for Government subsidy, under plans announced by the Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV).
A pot of up to £7.5 million will be made available from summer 2015 until 2020, capped at £1500 per vehicle.
The BMF commented: The BMF sees great potential for electrically propelled motorcycles for commuting an local travel. This is a clear indication that our views along with those of the industry have been heard. The grants are modest but will work to help prospective electric motorcycle riders to overcome that initial cost barrier. This is a great beginning to gaining a more comprehensive understanding of motorcycles as part of the transport mainstream and not an "additional" feature. We put forward this most recently in our submission on the TfL Ultra Low Emission Zone project."
This will make qualifying vehicles up to 20% cheaper, establishing powered two wheelers as the most affordable electric vehicles on the market and therefore within the reach of people on lower incomes.
Electric powered two wheelers will help cut CO2 emissions but there are wider benefits too. Research shows powered two wheelers help reduce congestion for all road users. They also take up far less space to park, expanding available parking in city centres and the workplace.
Riders benefit from shorter journey times as they can use bus lanes in many towns and cities and are able to filter through queues of traffic. They are economical to run and are exempt from the Congestion Charge and Work Place Parking Levy.
Steve Kenward, CEO of the MCIA says this news bodes well for both industry and the UK’s clogged roads:
“This is significant development as it recognises the part motorcycles and scooters can play in a low carbon future. The Subsidy will encourage more people to opt for electric motorcycles and scooters, which will help solve the UK’s appalling congestion problem.
“Economically, it will provide a much needed boost to this sector of the automotive industry. We hope this will result in increased investment in UK research and development for electric powered two wheel vehicles.
“We also hope it will give manufacturers who already have electric models for sale in mainland Europe the confidence to launch in the UK.”
Business Minister Matthew Hancock said:
“Low emission vehicles are the future and show that we can meet our climate change commitments without giving up our cars or motorbikes. Electric motorcycles and scooters have got fantastic potential and can be a real force for good.
“This investment shows we are serious about increasing the uptake of cleaner vehicles in the UK, and offer a fantastic place for firms to locate their R&D and manufacturing facilities. Supporting new technologies is a key part of our long-term economic plan.”
Transport Minister Baroness Kramer said:
"This £7.5 million for electric bikes demonstrates our commitment to all ultra-low emission vehicles, from motorbikes to cars and trucks. From navigating city streets to putting in the motorway miles there is now a genuine low emission choice for everyone and electric vehicles are now ready to go mainstream. We are determined that the UK continues to be at the forefront of this vital revolution in transport."
The Government will continue to work closely with the industry as it finalises the details of the scheme, including the grant level and final eligibility criteria, but it could be up and running in dealerships as early as this Summer. The funding is being made available from the £500m Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV) programme for the period 2015-2020.