Sales of new fossil-fuelled motorbikes may be banned by 2035 – Electric to become ‘norm’

Grant Shapps stars in ‘Wild West’ themed electric vehicle promo

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The Government previously launched a public consultation to accelerate the transition to zero emission travel. This involves phasing out the sale of new fossil-fuelled motorbikes and mopeds by 2035, or even earlier for some vehicles.

In the last year, almost 7,500 extra electric vehicle chargepoints have been installed, supporting the 900,000 green vehicles that are on UK roads.

The production of zero emission vehicles alone has the potential to support 72,000 green jobs worth up to £9.7billion in gross value added by 2050.   

Alongside the consultation, the Department for Transport is announcing funding for a competition to help industry develop the zero-emission motorcycle supply chain in the UK. 

This will help create a manufacturing base for small, emission-free vehicles and could lead to thousands of new jobs across the UK. 

Successful applicants for the £350,000 fund, will undertake research to support the production and distribution of new, green vehicles within the sector.

The Department of Transport said that electric motorbikes would soon become the norm on UK roads.

Sales of new petrol and diesel vehicles are set to be banned from 2030, with a similar ban affecting hybrid vehicles coming five years later.

Through this consultation, it is expected that sales of new fossil-fuelled two-wheelers will end by 2035.

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Helena Bennett, head of climate policy at Green Alliance, said: “The Transport Decarbonisation Plan laid ambitious foundations for the sector to begin its transition to net zero after thirty years in which emissions have stayed largely unchanged. 

“It’s promising to see delivery of some of the plan’s goals begin including announcements on a zero-emission vehicle mandate and phase out of polluting HGVs.

“But there is more to be done to keep the sector on track with climate targets, and it’s more important than ever, given the cost-of-living crisis, that boosts to public transport and walking and cycling infrastructure are prioritised.” 

Since the Transport Decarbonisation Plan’s launch last year, the Government has worked at pace to deliver many of its ambitious commitments.

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This includes bringing forward a Zero Emission Vehicle Mandate to set targets for manufacturers to ensure the supply of electric vehicles meets the soaring demand.

The Government has also announced plans to support the UK market to increase public electric vehicle chargepoints by tenfold, by the end of the decade as part of the Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Strategy.

It is hoped this will make public charging cheaper and more convenient than refuelling at a petrol station.

In addition to these measures, the Government set out a world-leading pledge confirmed at the COP26 summit last year to dramatically increase the pace of the global transition to cleaner vehicles.

This declaration now has 180 signatures, including from 39 countries worldwide and 14 major vehicle manufacturers on top of cities, fleets and investors.

Transport Minister Trudy Harrison said: “Across road, rail, sea and air we have taken decisive action to reduce harmful emissions while enabling innovation and growing the economy.   

“We have provided certainty to both the industry and consumers through investment to stimulate a new market to reduce the need for fossil fuels”. 

A further public consultation, Course to Zero, is being launched seeking views on the best route to net zero emissions by 2050 for the UK’s domestic maritime sector. 

This will help inform the Government’s future actions to achieve decarbonisation across the UK’s vital domestic shipping industry.

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