PETROL motorcycles will no longer be allowed in showrooms from 2035 after the UK government confirmed its new action plan this week.
According to the Department for Transport’s decarbonisation plan, a 220-page document released on Wednesday, all new L-category vehicles must be ‘fully zero emissions at the tailpipe’ in just over a decades’ time.
The news comes less than nine months on from the government’s announcement that the sale of all new petrol and diesel vans will end come 2030, whether we’re ready for it or not.
And while many pundits, action groups and organisations were quick to claim there was no mention of bikes, it’ll be just five years later that the same fate hits two-wheelers.
Not only will racers need to rethink their transporters from 2030 with the van ban on its way, but by 2040 the axe is set to come down on HGVs as well, as part of the final stage of phasing out ALL non-zero emissions vehicles that same year.
“While cars and vans outnumber motorcycles on UK roads, motorcycles are an important and sizeable vehicle population, with 1.4 million licensed in 2020 and we do not want to see them remaining fossil fuelled as the rest of the vehicle fleet cleans up,” the plan said.
“The opportunities for zero emission light powered vehicles (ZELPV) are enormous. We will build on our existing support in this segment, such as with the plug-in motorcycle grant, to benefit urban logistics and wider mobility and look to grow a new UK industrial supply chain.
“We will use Zemo’s strategic partnership [formerly known as the Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership] with the Motorcycle Industry Association (MCIA) to stimulate and coordinate activity in this area and publish options to develop this at national and local level this year.
“Zero emission motorcycles and other powered two wheelers are an efficient and clean form of mobility that can reduce congestion, improve urban air quality and reduce noise – we will take forward measures to remove these emissions…ensuring we support the development of new industrial opportunities for the UK.”
In 2019, motorcycles and mopeds made up just 0.4 per cent of all domestic UK greenhouse gas emissions. Cars and taxis were responsible for 55.4 per cent while heavy goods and light duty vehicles made up 31.6 per cent.
The plan is among a number of new regulations expected to be set out in the run up to November’s United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Conference of the Parties (COP) in Glasgow.
“At this meeting, potentially one of the most important events in recent history, almost every country in the world will be represented”, DfT officials added.
“They will decide whether to deliver, and whether humanity takes what many believe to be its last best chance to get runaway climate change under control. As the president and host of the conference, the UK’s own intentions and commitments will significantly affect the chances of an ambitious global deal.”
While the government continues to push its green agenda, the plan also states intentions to phase out the the nearly £600 million available in grants for plug-in car, van, taxi, and motorcycles within the next two years.