Electric bikes get budget boost

Published: 24 November 2017

The viability of electric motorcycles got another surge of positivity in this week’s budget, as the Government pledged to invest heavily in the development of the UK’s charging infrastructure and research into charging technology.

The £200million cash injection is set to be matched by contributions from private investors to create a £400million development fund. This fund will then be used for the increasing development of the UK’s somewhat nascent electric vehicle charging network. While the motivation is primarily aimed at car drivers, electric motorcycle owners obviously will reap the rewards, too.

The current charging network extends to around 13,000 public charging points across just 4500 locations – primarily serving the 115,000 electric cars on UK roads. But with the majority of the new fund aimed at improving that infrastructure, the hope is that a more extensive network can be established faster.

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Chancellor of the Exchequer, Phillip Hammond, also pledged £40million for increased research into battery and charging technology, the holy grail that will make electric vehicles (EV) more attractive to all buyers – but especially motorcyclists, who are affected most by the limited capacity forced by a bike’s physical constraints.

The existing OLEV grant, which currently allows a rebate of up to £1500 on the purchase price of a new electric motorcycle, will also continue until at least 2020. Alongside this incentive is a commitment to remove any benefits taxes imposed on employees charging their EV at work.

Zero Motorcycles’ UK Manager Dale Robinson commented: “It’s good news that the government continues to recognise the role that electric vehicles can play in providing a cleaner future. The 2018 Zeros have 10% more range than the 2017 models, over 230 miles in the city, and the option of the factory fitted Charge Tank means that riders will be able to take advantage of these increasing number of charging points and recharge quickly while out on the road, and this commitment to invest in the infrastructure is good news for our current and potential owners.”

 

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