UK Government pulls plug on big plug-in electric motorcycle grants

The UK Government significantly reduces its financial incentive towards purchasing an electric motorcycle with models costing £10,000 or less now eligible

Zero SR/S

The UK government has followed through on its decision to withdraw a significant grant towards switching to electric vehicles, with grants now only offered on models costing less than £10,000.

Previously the Government offered a grant of up to £1,500 (or 20 per cent of the purchase price) on Plug-in Electric Motorcycles, including models such as the Harley-Davidson LiveWire and the entire Zero range.

However, though it hinted at such a plan back inMarch 2021, it has - without warning - gone ahead and withdrawn the erstwhile incentive, to be replaced by a new grant system of 35% up to £150 for mopeds and £500 for motorcycles, so long as they cost £10,000 or less.

Despite the impending wholesale shift towards electric power, which will see conventionally fossil fuelled new models phased out by 2035, the MCIA has communicated that it is ‘currently waiting to speak to officials about the situation, the impact this will have on members, the market and what can be done to ask Government to think again.’

According to the Government, it says: “[The] Government has a responsibility to manage the grant budget and to deliver value for money for taxpayers and as signalled to industry following the March 2021 grant changes, has therefore been unable to provide notice ahead of the grant changes.”

• Grant rates changed from:

- 20% of purchase price up to £1,500 for Mopeds

- 20% of purchase price up to £1,500 for Motorcycles

• To:

- 35% of purchase price up to £150 for Mopeds

- 35% of purchase price up to £500 for Motorcycles

• Eligibility criteria changed:

- Moped and Motorcycle must cost less than £10,000. This is the recommended retail price including VAT and delivery fees.

Sales of electric PTWs (powered two wheelers) have seen a big increase in 2021 with YTD figures to the end of November showing a 158.4% growth on the same 11 month period in 2020.

Even so, it still accounts for only 5% of total PTW sales over the course of the year.

Despite the changes, Harley-Davidson has announced it will continue to offer its own £1,500 cashback towards the sale of a LiveWire.