A POWERFUL POINT
As more battery-powered bikes join the Government’s £1500 subsidy scheme could this be the REAL start of the electric revolution?
The BMW C evolution is the latest electric motorcycle to be eligible for the Government’s Plugin subsidy. The scheme, which sees £1500 knocked off the price of new zero-emission motorcycles enrolled in it, is part of a wider initiative to increase use of electric vehicles, and early indications show that it’s working.
BMW are following in the footsteps of two-wheeled electric specialist brand Zero Motorcycles, who were first to register their range within the Plug-in grant’s list of eligible vehicles and whose dealers have already started to see an uplift in sales as a result.
Multi-franchise dealership, Daytona Motorcycles took on the Zero Motorcycles electric bike range early last year, and say that after a slow 2016 the subsidy has already lead to sales in the early part of 2017.
“Since the subsidy announcement was made on Feburary 1, we’ve sold two Zero bikes,” Daytona salesman Jack Rayment told MCN. “We took on the range in March of last year, as we see electric bikes as being a big part of motorcycling’s future, but interest in them was initially quite slow. It seems the grant has made them more appealing to commuters who are really interested in not having any fuel costs.”
The grant means that Zero’s entry- level, A2 licence-compliant machine, the 33Kw (44hp) supermoto-style FX ZF6.5 has been reduced from £10,490 to a slightly more reasonable £8900. Other bikes in the Zero range include the supermoto Zero S, the 69bhp Zero SR naked, and the dual-sport Zero Max Adventure. As the second manufacturer to join the initiative, BMW hope the grant will help increase interest in their own zero-emission maxi electric scooter, the C evolution, which currently retails for £12,350. BMW dealers have told MCN that uptake in the EV scoot has so far been slow, so perhaps the subsidised price of £10,850 will start to entice the buyers in. The Plug-in grant, which has been in place for cars, trucks and vans since 2011, is said to be responsible for the recent record growth in the UK’S electric vehicle segment, whereby lowcarbon vehicles now represent 4% of all new vehicles sold. And with the rumour that Italian electric sportsbike manufacturer Energica are just weeks away from announcing that their Ego and Eva bikes will be eligible for the Plug-in grant too, a similar boom in electric bike sales is on the cards.
‘We’ve already seen a rise in electric bike sales’