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Why no tax incentive or grant for electric motorcycles?

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With the current high prices for petrol and the threat of fuel strikes never far away, the cost of filling up for the daily commute is probably on a fair number of peoples minds at the moment. Personally, I'm looking to buy a motorcycle when I start a new job (hopefully in the near future).  I have ridden bikes for many years and have also used a car having passed my test only a few years ago.  For me the motorcycle is my first choice this time round as I'll need to watch the pennies when it comes to fuel and there's also the heavy traffic which can be a nightmare, and of course parking!

I'm probably going to end up with an old used bike that's been around for a few years.  My budget will be tight and I'll just have to pick up whatever I can afford from whatever is available at the time.  Public transport isn't really an option because it's too slow and not exactly cheap either - thats another gripe though!  But what I really would like isn't actually a big brand new sports bike or cruiser from the showroom down the road.  Given the choice and if I had the money, I'd buy an electric motorcycle.

I saw a video a while back from a company called Zero Motorcycles with a demo of one of their products.  It's a street motorcycle and it's every bit as attractive as a petrol equivalent, with exceptional performance and with an acceptable range for someone with ordinary distance to commute I imagined I'd soon see them everywhere.  Sadly though these bikes come with an impressive price tag so my dreams and probably those of every other biker who would be willing to make the switch have been dashed.

Why do these bikes, or any other electric vehicle such as cars and e-bikes come with a hefty price tag?  Well there's no simple answer to that. You can factor in the cost of research and development and manufacturing costs, then there's the battery technology and other unique components.  Finally there's supply and demand to think about.  There isn't really a great demand for electric vehicles presently, and they've somehow become lumped into a niche where they are only bought by affluent people.  Personally I think that EVs (bikes and cars) should be more accessible to everyone and that means somehow driving down the price.  Consumer demand would go some way towards that, but what can you do?

Did you know that in January last year the UK government launched an incentive to help people who wanted to buy electric cars?  Nope, neither did I.  Apparently with the plug-in car grant you can reduce the cost of buying your electric car by 25% and the amount is currently capped at £5,000.  Similarly a plug-in van grant was introduced in January this year so that people buying a van can expect a 20% discount with amount capped at £8,000.

My gripe is really that there isn't an equivalent incentive to for motorcyclists.  There currently is no plug-in motorcycle grant to help with the purchase of an electric motorcycle.  Perhaps we have to wait until next January before that gets introduced?  We can certainly live in hope, but I have a feeling that well be disappointed.  Personally, I couldn't afford one of these machines even with a grant but I'm willing to bet there are a few people who would consider them if the option was there and that is exactly what is needed - consumer demand.

I think that the whole electric vehicle industry needs to be thoroughly kick-started (excuse the pun) and for me that includes motorbikes.  In the early days of motoring the motorcycle was a first choice for many because cars were too expensive.  As they're smaller, lighter, more efficient and usually more affordable, surely it makes sense to include two-wheeled options in future financial incentive for EVs?

By: 2WK

More information about electric vehicles

Zero Motorcycles - Home page of a manufacturer that produces all-electric motorcycles.  According to the website there are currently three dealers in the south east of England, but hopefully more will follow soon.

Bramo - 100% electric motorcycles - An interesting range of very nice looking motorcycles.  No information about sales in the UK though.

UK government launches £5,000 electric car grant scheme - An article in the Guardian announcing the introduction of the grant for electric cars.

Government incentives for plug-in electric vehicles - More information on the UK government plug-in grant for electric cars and vans.  The interesting part is the section under United Kingdom which states: 'Only ultra-low emission cars are eligible (vehicle category M1). Motorbikes, quadricycles and vans are not covered.'


Leave a comment

ferkemall

ferkemall

Workout the cost of all the parts in a piston engine and the taxes involved then you have differing taxes on the pollution it will generate plus the millions of jobs involved , an electric motor has one moving part , if we all went electric the worlds government's would go broke that's why the electric cars are so expensive ,governments don't mind a few thousand as a token to clean air but they don't want to see millions of them if that happened you free road tax would disappear along with your free pass through congestion zones and the grants to buy them!

You would end up having to pay road tax depending on size and the price of charging them would go up along with the price of the battery packs that are expensive as it is ,
I saw a an electric Peugeot 206 for sale it only had a range of 20 miles and needed a new battery pack when I checked with Peugeot they wanted £5000 for the battery pack , so I thought I would better off driving my petrol car even at 8 miles a ltr = 36.32 mpg so £5000 would for me be a better deal , the government is going to cosh you anyway no matter what you drive !
ferkemall
24th Feb 16 16:06

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ferkemall

ferkemall

Its a numbers game the government love numbers then they sit down and work out how much tax revenues they will loose ,you only have to look at the vehicle tax system ,they based it on co2 so it was cheaper to buy and run a diesel ,the EEC gave them 5 years to bring in euro 6 and they did not do it so get fined , they are going to introduce a £12.50 charge for mopeds/scooters/motorcycles and cars ,trucks will charged £100 a day this is going to be rowed in under the pollution/congestion charge system , check it out at .gov.UK ,Euro 6 is being bought in via the VW scandal this will decimate the diesel vehicle market ,the government is handing over power to all councils in the UK to set up their own congestion/emissions zones and to keep the money ,it will save the government billions in grants and the councils will get the stick instead of the government ,as for you getting an exception for you ebike forget it euro 6 is designed to keep the bulk of vehicles in the emissions trap as it brings in billions ,
If we all went out and bought an electric vehicle the government's would all go broke
ferkemall
24th Feb 16 15:21

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littleboyblue

littleboyblue

wow looks like you have a lot of missinformation here show your face bp :-)
electric has always been a better choice than fossil fuels it all down to politics .
it is so much easier to catch carbon on a large scale than it is per vehical
the only down side is it may get a bit sparky in the rain if it all goes pete tong
i think leccy cars and bikes are cool cannot wait to get one parked up next to my fridge .
mmm seems i can't say t.i.t.s
littleboyblue
9th May 12 22:49

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Grumpy xx

Grumpy xx

I read somewhere that electric vehicles are heavier pollutants than ordinary vehicles. So instead of trading in your gas guzzler for a 'sparky parky' it's better to take up bicycle riding or just walk to local destinations and just use a normal car for special need trips or leisure cruising at weekends rather than for short trips than can easily be managed via alternative means.. But I expect a lot of people are doing that already.
Grumpy xx
13th Apr 12 13:46

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Andrew

Andrew

@artuk

Source needed i believe.

Why does my comment need to be longer why does my comment need to be longer.
Andrew
11th Apr 12 17:27

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artuk

artuk

I do not understand why electric cars receive any grants. Because of pollution from the factories that make batteries, an electric car has a bigger carbon footprint than a gas-burning vehicles until it's traveled 80,000 miles, according to the research, which was financed by the Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership.

Electric cars just aren't "a green option," says Ed Morrissey at Hot Air. "Not only do electric vehicles produce just as much carbon in their overall cycle as internal-combustion engines, the need to replace the batteries actually makes them less green than current technology."

Disposing of these batteries is also going to be an environmental nightmare and the electricity comes from where, why the oil or coal powered power station!! In my opinion electric cars should have a higher road tax than a petrol car and electric bikes also.
artuk
11th Apr 12 08:27

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