Government knocks £1500 off cost of electric motorbikes

The Government could subsidise up to £1,500 of the cost of electric motorbikes and scooters as part of a plan to bring electric vehicles into the mainstream.

Up to £7.5m will be set aside in total to help bikers bridge the cost-gap between a zero emission electric motorcycle and conventional petrol versions.

Transport Minister Baroness Kramer said: “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.”

Sales of electric motorbikes have not been keeping up with electric car sales – which rose by 400% in 2014.

The move comes following meetings with the electric Motor Cycle Industry Association and leading manufacturers including Suzuki, Harley Davidson and BMW.

Hydrogen refueling

In related low-emission transport news, Kramer announced on Friday that seven new hydrogen projects have been given the green light today.

The £6.6 million investment will see an initial network of 12 hydrogen refuelling stations established, including new stations in Brentford and Croydon and a new mobile station that will be used across the south of England.

The cash will also be used to upgrade existing fuelling stations in Swindon, London and Sheffield.

Korean car manufacturer Hyundai – the first company to deliver fuel-cell vehicles to paying UK customers – welcome the announcement.

“The additional stations and package of upgrades will make Fuel Cell vehicles a viable option for more fleet and private customers,” said Hyundai UK president Tony Whitehorn.

Transport emissions

The two announcements are part of a growing tide of policies designed to decarbonise the transport sector – the only sector in the UK that did not reduce emissions last year.

Last week for example, Kramer announced £1.8 million funding to help launch car clubs and shared e-bike schemes around the country.

Car club vehicles in England and Wales typically produce around 33% less carbon than the national average car.

Brad Allen

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