Electric motorcycles and scooters will now qualify for Government subsidy under plans announced by the Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV).
A pot of up to £7.5 million will be made available from summer 2015 until 2020, which will be capped at £1,500 per vehicle.
This will make qualifying vehicles up to 20% cheaper, establishing powered two wheelers as the most affordable electric vehicles on the market and therefore within the reach of people on lower incomes.
It is believed that electric powered two wheelers will help cut CO2 emissions with research showing that powered two wheelers help reduce congestion for all road users.
Riders will also benefit from shorter journey times as they can use bus lanes in many towns and cities and are able to filter through queues of traffic.
Steve Kenward, CEO of the MCIA, said the news bodes well for both industry and the UK’s clogged roads: “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.
“We also hope it will give manufacturers who already have electric models for sale in mainland Europe the confidence to launch in the UK.”
Transport Minister Baroness Kramer said: “This £7.5 million for electric bikes demonstrates our commitment to all ultra-low emission vehicles, from motorbikes to cars and trucks.
“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.”
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