Motorcycle industry welcomes news of 2040 ban on new petrol vehicles as “tremendous trigger” for electric bikes

“A tremendous stimulus for the motorcycle industry” says MCIA chief Steve Kenward

THE Motorcycle Industry Association has welcomed reports of a ban on new fossil fuel-powered vehicles from 2040, saying it will be a “tremendous stimulus” for bike makers.

The Government is due to announce a ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel vehicles from 2040 as part of an effort to tackle air pollution, according to several national newspapers.

The measure is expected to include a ban on new hybrid vehicles and could mark the beginning of the end of the prevalence of the internal combustion engine in automotive transport.

The announcement will be in line with a similar commitment already made by France. 

Steve Kenward, CEO of the Motorcycle Industry Association, pointed out that no specific mention had been made of bikes but added: “I think there’s a great opportunity.

“For all the congestion-busting abilities of motorcycles and the abilities to make electric bikes I think it’s a tremendous stimulus for the motorcycle industry.

“It’s a tremendous commercial trigger to push on with electric motorcycles.”

Motorcycles made before 2007 are already set to be hit by a £12.50 daily pollution toll for entering London from 2020.

Currently the most practical electric motorcycles available include the £16,000 Zero SR (pictured), making around 69hp and with a range of up to 200 miles between charges.

The most powerful include the LS-218 from US firm Lightning Motorcycles, named after its top speed of 218mph and making 200hp.

How do you feel about the long-term demise of petrol-powered motorcycles?

Read our top 10 electric bikes.


Kelvin Turner's picture

As you say, no news yet of whether PTW will be part of the proposed ban. I sincerely hope not. Motorcycles do not contribute to pollution or congestion. I would expect MAG and other organisations to jump on this as this is just another excuse to legislate us off the road. Technology is improving all the time, just look at the progress made in hybrid technology in the past few years. It will only get better and, as you say, it is a tremendous opportunity to develop and market electric PTW. The only thing that worries me is that due to the closure of all the coal fired power stations and all the malarkey re the nuclear options, we won't have the ability to re-charge our vehicles! While on the subject of electric vehicles, why aren't manufacturers looking at solar panels in the roof of cars? Then you could top-up the battery as you drive, thereby extending your range, simples!

I hope you realise that motorcycles are actually quite often more polluting than cars due to aftermarket exhausts.

Comfysofa's picture

I dunno....ive got 4 bikes, an RSV4 factory, a Hypermotard 1100 evo sp and a z1000. All with notable engine notes and exhaust sounds, its one of the reasons that i own them. They all have full systems and they are all mapped. the 4th bike is a ktm 525 supermoto and, id happily give that up for an electric equivalent (the free ride supermoto springs to mind) so, while id happily ride an electric bike i would still like to keep my fix of petrol for the fun stuff...

Sparkwood's picture

It will be interesting but:
The cost of lithium ion batteries has been falling but if the demand for larger car batteries increases significantly will the electrolytic recovery of the raw material (Lithium) be able to keep pace without costs increasing.
Then there is the increased demand from the Grid (Nissan Leaf 24kw = 3.42Kw for 7hrs) majority at night and 38.4Kw for 30 minutes fast chargers during daytime on longer journeys. The cost of electricity will no doubt increase.
Energy to manufacture, recycle etc.

"Motorcycles made before 2007 are already set to be hit by a £12.50 daily pollution toll for entering London from 2020."

When I read this I thought the only bikes in London will belong to the thieves by then. I dont live in London so dont know anything about this, are they including all other transport in this? What do you do if your just travelling through the place or a classic bike owner out for the day, its really shocking. Im sure there are many bike owners in despair over this as going to a bike meet in Londom could be expensive. Good for the goverment though, keerching!

LS650's picture

Maybe the battery technology will be better, and electric motorcycles will be able to ride more than a few dozen miles without needing a re-charge.

There's no maybe about it. There's a bunch of new battery technologies making their way out of the lab, several of which address problems with lithium. This one recently caught my eye -

That said, I'm not a big fan of electric vehicles. I don't like the way they silently creep up on you. I've ridden a mate's Brammo, which was kind of fun but I was less amused by having to stop at a cafe for an hour and a half while he recharged the bike. More work needs doing to produce something as satisfying to ride as my Triumphs.

Siima MotoWear's picture

this will happen sooner or later. personally i want to see the wilderness i am riding to, thrive. and if to protect the environemnt is to go electric, then i am all in. However, i support this idea only if: a) battery performance 4-500km b) charging time is no more than 4 hours c) battery life is at least 10 years d) battery cost is reasonable

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