LONDON, England – As the adoption of electric vehicles gains traction in the UK the government there has elected to extend the substantial state subsidy on their purchase from four to two-wheeled vehicles.
The price of each scooter or motor-cycle bought will be reduced by the equivalent of about R26 500 or 20% of the total purchase cost, whichever is the smaller amount.
The UK’s Motorcycle Industry Association has pointed out that the subsidy for electric motorcycles and scooters had until now been available only to for four-wheeled vehicles – an attempt to reduce climate-unfriendly exhaust gases and that electric motorcycles and scooters can be charged at home or work using a normal plug socket.
GRANT FOR ALL ROAD VEHICLES
Bigger vehicles can require special charging installations on which the UK government has already spent many millions for public facilities; a two-wheeler requires merely a plug socket.
The grant will be made available for new road-registered electric motorcycles and scooters with required criteria – among them having a battery-pack supplied with a five-year warranty and good riding range.
The MCIA had been negotiating with OLEV, a government department which encourages the purchases of low-emissions vehicles for three years. An initial announcement about the subsidy extension was made by the government in March 2015 – it has taken until now (Oct 2016) to confirm it.
UNTIL NOW A ‘LIFESTYLE’ CHOICE
The announcement is part of a £35-million boost for ultra-low emission vehicles just announced to encourage the purchase zero-emission motorcycles and scooters.
Steve Kenward, CEO of the MCIA, told The Corner in a media release that the subsidy would make personal transport more accessible of less-affluent people.
“This opens the door,” he said, “to zero-emissions transport for people unable to afford an electric cars – they tend to be a ‘lifestyle’. Motorcycles and scooters are an extremely accessible form of electric transport with all the advantages of riding a petrol-fuelled two-wheeler.
NO CONGESTION CHARGE – OR ROAD TAX
“Riders can filter through traffic, often use bus lanes, and usually get closer to their destination, so cutting door-to-door journey times.
“Motorcycles are exempt from congestion charges and their ‘fuel’ cost is the equivalent of a penny (R0.20) a mile (1.6km) and their owners pay no vehicle tax. Parking is far cheaper or even free.
“Switching to an electric motorcycle or scooter could result in huge savings for the average commuter and for businesses which operate fleet vehicles.”