UK Government turns focus to electric motorcycles after car grant scheme axed

The UK Government extends its grant scheme towards the purchase of an electric motorcycle/scooter despite a similar incentive for electric cars being axed

Yamaha NEO's riding through an urban area. Ride wearing blue riding jeans and black, leather riding jacket and Joker Ruroc ATLAS 4.0 helmet.

The UK Government has announced an extension to its grant scheme towards the purchase of an electric motorcycle or scooter despite axing a similar incentive for electric car buyers.

The Department for Transport confirmed the plug-in subsidy scheme for electric cars - worth upwards of £1,500 - will be terminated with immediate effect in favour of channelling budget towards bolstering the sales of electric motorcycles, scooters, taxis, vans and trucks.

The news comes after the Government significantly reduced its grant system for buyers of electric motorcycles and scooters in December 2021. Previously, it offered a grant of up to £1,500 or 20 per cent of the purchase price on all plug-in models.

However, this was slashed down to 35% being offered up to £150 for mopeds and £500 for motorcycles priced at £10,000 or less, thus ruling out bigger models like the Harley-Davidson/LiveWire ONE and the majority of the Zero Motorcycles range.

While the electric PTW (powered two wheeler) segment is growing, it accounted for just 5% of total PTW sales in the UK last year, with the vast majority of these coming in the low-powered scooter sector.

This is in stark contrast to the car industry, where 1 in every 4 cars sold in the UK is now electric.

Citing the increasing popularity of electric cars as proof that previous grant reductions have harmed sales, Transport Minister Trudy Harrison says the time has come to invest that budget into encouraging more people onto electric motorcycles. 

“Having successfully kickstarted the electric car market, we now want to use plug-in grants to match that success across other vehicle types, from taxis to delivery vans and everything in between, to help make the switch to zero emission travel cheaper and easier.”

Despite the announcement, there was no indication the UK Government plans to increase grants as incentive to encourage more bikers onto electric models.