Motorbikes and scooters get electric vehicle grant

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

money on table close up

The UK government has announced as much as £7.5 million worth of funding for electric two-wheelers. 

The plan was revealed by Business Minister, Matthew Hancock last month in a bid to further reduce CO2 emissions for UK vehicles.

Initial reports suggest that up to £1,500 could be made available to anyone buying an electric motorbike or scooter.

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.”

The funding is being made available from the Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV) and its five-year programme that runs until 2020.

Yet to be finalised

At present the finer details of the deal are yet to be finalised but according to a statement by the Department for Business Innovation & Skills, the grant could be in place at UK dealerships as early as this summer.

Whether the uptake of electric bikes and scooters will be a success remains to be seen.

What do electric two-wheelers sound like?

Did it work with cars?

In the four-wheel industry, electric and hybrid cars have struggled to take off in the UK.

In 2011 the government launched the electric car grant scheme that subsidised the purchase of electric vehicles by as much as £5,000.

Despite the sizable donation from UK government coffers, the scheme never really took off, with battery ownership, range issues and expensive list prices keeping punters away.

Whether the same will be said of electric motorbikes and scooters remains to be seen however the Motorcycle Industry Association (MCIA) is confident that the grant will increase the uptake of electric two-wheelers in the UK.

Steve Kenward, MCIA CEO, said: “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.”

There are also insurance issues that need to ironed out with electric cars, with a lack of sound one problem that rears its head.

Next page: Electric motorbikes – will they take off?