UK to ban combustion vehicles by 2035

UK to ban combustion vehicles by 2035

The U.K. Department for Transport released the Decarbonising Transport: Setting the Challenge report. A prior U.K. deadline for the sale of new gasoline and diesel-powered passenger vehicles was 2040. The government, according to this report, plans to move the deadline up to 2035 if feasible.  

In contrast to reports from other countries, this U.K. report includes definitive language regarding motorcycles. There is a bullet point that reads, "All road vehicles, from motorcycles to [heavy goods vehicles], will emit zero emissions.". New modes of transportation and mobility innovations will transform how vehicles are used." 


To support this transition, there will be spending of approximately 2.5 billion pounds ($3,402,462,500) on different measures. There will be some money to fund grants for plug-in vehicles, such as motorcycles. Parts of this funding will be allocated to developing the necessary infrastructure for charging at home and at businesses, as well as on roads.  


Motorcyclist rights groups and industry groups have both voiced their opinions since the announcement.  


National Motorcycle Dealers Association head Paddy O'Connell said he was positive to see that the Government is finally embracing the idea of electric two-wheelers and light-duty vehicles as part of its decarbonization plan, which weren't previously included.  


A zero emission motorcycle or other powered two-wheeler provides an efficient, clean and comfortable form of transportation that reduces congestion, improves air quality and reduces noise, especially in urban areas, where powered two-wheelers are perceived as a preferred method for delivery in first and last mile routes. 


Our government has committed to introducing other measures to eliminate these emissions, including determining when new non-zero emission motorbike sales will end, and making sure they support the development of new industrial opportunities in the UK. In the near future, the NMDA will keep engaging with the Government, and respond to all relevant consultations," O'Connell said. 


National Motorcyclists Council executive director Craig Carey-Clinch had the following to say about the matter: 


Considering the recent announcement for zero emission automobile production, this new milestone marks a fundamental change in motorcycles as we currently know them. Motorcyclists should take note of these profound implications and the NMC will be taking part in the upcoming consultation on the phase out date for new petrol-powered motorcycle production," he said. 


“We note that the government recognizes in the Plan the congestion benefits associated with motorcycling in general, and that motorcycles constitute an “important and significant” part of the vehicle fleet. According to the organization, the Department for Transport must recognize this aspect of present-day [combustion] motorcycles as well as their lower pollution and cost saving advantages as part of its ongoing transport policies. The fact that motorcycles, scooters, and mopeds of today contribute to reducing emissions from road transport is particularly significant," he said. 


Nevertheless, zero-emission motorcycles are increasing their market share in the low-power commuter category, and there are opportunities for motorcycling electrification at the moment.

 The cost, specification, and battery range of zero emission products will take some time to develop so they will be able to accommodate riders across a wide range of motorcycles and for the varying reasons they ride. Carey-Clinch added that education and training measures will also be needed to help riders become more aware of the new technologies. 


As the Government sets a target date, it creates a sense of focus, which we can appreciate. In the event that both technology and market acceptability do not meet riders' expectations by 2035, this ambition may need to be flexible if market and economic 'shocks' are to be avoided in the motorcycle sector. In addition, the government must understand the perspectives of those riding today and not just focus on tomorrow," he said. 


In addition to the Auto Cycle Union, the British Motorcyclists Federation, the Motorcycle Action Group, and the Trail Riders Fellowship, the NMC consists of several organizations within the motorcycling ecosystem of the United Kingdom.  


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