Is this the end for TT Zero?

The Manx government have put the TT Zero race on ice as they agree a two-year hiatus from the event

mugen tt zero

THE Isle of Man Department for Enterprise has today confirmed that the TT Zero program is to be paused for the 2020 and 2021 running of the TT races.

The news comes as the TT Zero has been battling high costs of participation and dwindling grids as it nears its 10-anniversary year. The Department for Enterprise, who promote the event, claim that the ‘running of this class and participation of the associated competitors has been increasingly challenging.’

They hope that the break will allow them to approach key stakeholders in the industry to try and drum up some support for the zero-emissions class. They also mention that they would like to establish a more long-term plan not just for electric motorcycle racing on the Isle of Man but also for technology development on the island.

Exploring Mugen's mega all-electric Isle of Man TT racer

Rob Callister MHK, Member with responsibility for tourism and motorsport, said:

‘As an island, we remain committed to the principles and passion that continues to motivate everyone associated with the TT Zero class and the clean-tech industry. Our intention is to have a moratorium on the event to allow the motorcycle industry as a whole to catch up on the leading-edge developments that some manufacturers and individual race teams and universities have achieved to date.’

‘We remain incredibly proud of everything that has been achieved in clean emission racing at the TT and will work closely with the industry and with manufacturers without the pressure and focus of delivering a race format to build on the success to date.’

The news comes at a time when electric motorsports seem to be gaining some traction, with fans, TV audiences and race teams alike. MotoE despite its shaky start seems to be winning over some fans. Formula E to seems to be doing well, pulling in big names from the likes of F1 and Sportscar racing. Pikes peak is now a preferred proving ground for electric cars and some bikes before the 2020 ban on two-wheelers came in. So why doesn’t TT Zero seem to be pulling in the teams as it should?

The biggest obstacle preventing a team from going is the cost of it. The cost alone of building an electric motorcycle that’s capable of a lap of the course at anywhere near the speeds required is huge. Then you have to test it, refine it and ultimately take it there with a support team and race it. To cover the cost of each of those tasks for the reward of just one race in a year is probably too much for most teams to reason with.

Unless your surname is Honda of course…