Just when we were thinking that finally the UK government were putting motorcycles front and centre when it comes to strategic planning for congestion and emissions…they do a big turn around to include motorcycles and scooters in the ban of vehicles to be sold after 2035.
So in less than 15yrs you will not be allowed to buy any form of transport that produces any kind of emissions. It does not necessarily mean the ban of ICE or internal combustion engines but rather those fossil fuels that produce the emissions.
Of course we could use the ever growing EV – electric vehicles or hydrogen powered…or even by using some synthetic fuels too, but motorcycling life as we know is now coming to an end…and this is after we were led to believe that motorcycles and scooters would be exempt.
In the latest UK government thinking, they released their decarbonisation of transport plan in which they aim to have all vehicles fossil fuel free by 2040 on UK roads and with motorcycles now included with all vehicles to be zero emissions compliant by 2035.
In less than 15 years, the government will be promoting this green roads strategy but we question how on earth they will implement the required infrastructure to support this. It’s all well and good us all having EVs in the future, but not everyone is blessed with driveway parking. Many households in the UK do not have off street parking or even parking spaces attached to the property…so how will anyone be able to charge these vehicles?
Of course having a more environmentally friendly life is a good thing, but it also has to be logical too. Motorcycles by their very nature of size and mobility reduce journey times and congestion…thus overall emissions too. So if we are all forced into EVs or rather zero emissions vehicles, what other costs will be incurred?
The government will lose a shipload in tax revenue from fuel sales so that can only mean that road tax will soar and electricity prices will settle in the outer orbit. But what of the environmental cost to produce these vehicles in the first instance? What of the environmental cost in producing these synthetic fuels or the gargantuan changes in infrastructure to accommodate this new green life?
We can imagine in the next few years that more motorcycle manufacturers will produce even more EV bikes with increased range but they also have to produce them at a lower unit price too to be able to make them affordable to the masses. As it stand now, most people cannot afford to buy an EV bike or any EV car or alternative fuelled vehicle new…and the technology is moving so fast that buying anything used is still expensive but may also become defunct soon too. So how do people on lower incomes or just starting out in life, get to own any of these vehicles and become mobile?
There are two huge side affects of this proposed plan. Firstly the huge cost both in finances and environmental just to get to a point where the masses can use these zero emissions vehicles in a normal manner…and the couple of Billion the government have set aside for this really isn’t going to cut the mustard.
The second cost will be to personal health and greater impact on the NHS too. If we’re looking at a greener mobility plan, then the government need to make it useful and useable too. If the pandemic has taught us anything it is that if people are staying home more and working from home, they tend to do less exercise and become more isolated. This leads to greater health conditions both in the near and distant future. If the strategy is to reduce congestion by out pricing people from using zero emissions vehicles, then this may well compound the problem further.
Whilst the zero emissions may be healthier for the planet…there are hidden costs that must not be ignored either.