News from Westminster on Wednesday (18th November) shows that the UK Prime Minister has moved forward with the banning of combustion engine cars from 2040, to 2030. This means that car makers won’t be able to sell petrol or diesel-powered cars and vans beyond 2030. The great news for us motorcyclists is that it appears, motorcycles are exempt from this ban, at least for a few years.
We have nothing against electric motorcycles, we rode the zero SR/F and it’s a great ride and really enjoyable, but it’s just not the same as a bike with an engine.
However sometimes this is unpractical in rural areas, and for the most part, the infrastructure and cost aren’t on the mark yet.
For car drivers, there is a £1.34billion fund for investment into EV charging points, for both homes, streets, and service stations, throughout England. Further £500million in funds are being granted to battery developments, and to assist mass production. A further £525m for nuclear powerplants as part of the UK’s green energy commitment. This extra infrastructure will help the EV motorcyclists, of which numbers are growing.
Are petrol bikes being banned?
Electric motorcycles are progressing, look at the Voxan team who last week broke multiple speed records with their electric motorcycles, and of course, the TT Zero efforts which have constantly raised the average lap record speed yearly.
The Zero bikes are now lapping at the same speed as the lightweight bikes, but with only a single lap. in 2019 Michael Rutted averaged 122mph around the 37.73-mile course.
It’s like when Two-Strokes were outlawed all over again
With all of this us, petrol lovers are still governed by some of the emissions rules, which has seen some of our favourite bikes being discontinued.
Look at the now discontinued Yamaha R6, the CBR600, and the GSXR600/750. Catalyser boxers and exhaust silencers are becoming humongous, but it’s a small price to pay for still being allowed to burn petrol.
In recent years, our petrol-powered counterparts with four wheels have been rapidly downsizing engine capacities, in favour of adding turbochargers. This has been quite the opposite to motorcycles who have been boring out engines, chasing all possible performance gains. The only exception being Kawasaki with the H2 bikes, which are all supercharged. Bless you, Kawasaki.
Will we see petrolhead car drivers swapping the supercar for a superbike, to get that last petrol fix? I doubt it, this new ban only applies to sales of new vehicles, so anything older than the ban will still be legal. We won’t see swathes of people rushing out to buy the new Ducati superbike (If we even have superbikes in 2030).
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