The UK’s Motorcycle Industry Association (MCIA) has announced that a subsidy for electric motorcycles and scooters, which has so far only been available for four wheel vehicles, will soon become available to two wheelers in the UK.

Unlike most electric cars, electric motorcycles and scooters can be charged at home or work using normal plug sockets, which makes them more accessible.

The price of each vehicle is expected to be reduced by £1500 or 20% of the total purchase cost, whichever is the smaller number.

The grant will be made available for new road registered electric motorcycles and scooters reaching certain quality criteria, which include having a battery with 5 years warranty and a good range.

MCIA has been involved in negotiations with OLEV, the government department which encourages low emission vehicles, for the past three years.  An initial announcement about extending the grant to motorcycles and scooters was made by the Coalition Government in March 2015; however the detail was not confirmed until now.

Customers wanting to buy an electric motorcycle will be able to find out which ones are eligible once manufacturers have applied for the grant and been accepted.

The announcement comes as part of a £35 million boost for ultra low emission vehicles announced this week, to encourage the uptake of zero emission motorcycles and scooters.

The MCIA believes the susbsidy should help make electric vehicles and EV travel a more affordable option for more people as well as help the technology become a mainstream option in the UK.

“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’. 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, said Steve Kenward, MCIA CEO

“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 New Zealand market is yet to really introduce many EVs, with demand quite low and our market being quite small, we don’t expect many importers to take the risk of introducing mainstream EVs without a similar subsidy to what has been introduced in the UK to offset the cost.

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