The government has recently announced it will provide a subsidy to those who buy an electric motorcycle. This comes five years after the electric car subsidy, which came into play in 2011.

The Office for Low Emission Vehicles says it should "open the door" to zero emission transport for those who can't afford an electric car. This comes as part of a £35 million boost for ultra low emission vehicles. 

Electric motorcycles will be reduced in price by £1,500 or 20% of the total cost price, whichever is the smallest. The bikes will have to meet certain criteria, as laid out by the government.

It's a positive step for our environment, and we're bound to see many more electric vehicles on the road in the future. But there are drawbacks which put petrol-powered motorcycle riders off. 

Battery life and mileage

This is not a problem for those who live and ride predominantly in a city or small area, and battery technology is improving all the time. But, even so, it's likely to put off riders who regularly use their bikes for longer journeys.


Even with a subsidy, electric motorcycles aren't cheap. That said, one you've got one, you won't have so many parts to replace as with a traditional bike.

Enjoyable riding

This is the one that a lot of motorcyclists can't get their heads around. The lack of the rumbling and vibrations of the engine. Would riding be as enjoyable without it? Read articles about people who've tested or switched to riding electric bikes and they'll tell you it's great. But many remain unconvinced.


Electric motorcycles are also heavier than petrol-powered motorcycles. Not all the time, but a lot of the time.

This isn't to say that electric bikes aren't the way forward. But a sudden surge of electric bike owners against petrol-powered doesn't seem likely. Perhaps this subsidy might inspire some, but we'll more likely see a gradual, slow change over time instead.

Have you ridden or owned and electric motorcycle? Does the new subsidy make you any more likely to buy one? Let us know at


08/11/16 - Doubt it. Especially if it couldnt match my zzr1100 in every way.

08/11/16 - If i could attach a speaker and make it sound like a R6 then aye

08/11/16 - As it would have to live in the street I don't think the cooncil would be awfy happy if I plugged it in to a lamp post...

          09/11/16 - in the future plug in points will be in many lamp posts i think.

          10/11/16 - Not here,they can't even fix the roads...

08/11/16 - Still not an economic prospect for me. 120mile range would do me a week of commuting and it is all 20-50 limits. But still the difference in running cost wouldn't make back the outlay on initial cost even with a subsidy.

08/11/16 - For commuting, why not? I have a long commute and most e-bikes don't have enough range. Buy if there was a charger at work, I could do that. They seem to have a marvelous torque and acceleration, so who knows, they might be fun as well?

08/11/16 - with a 20 mile journey to work, and the opportunity to plug it in when I'm there , it's a no brainer. Also, without a garage or driveway, an electric bike could be charged at home, but an electric car is out of bounds. Trouble is, they all look rubbish. Where's the Brammo Empulse gone, eh?

08/11/16 - If Honda want to give me the mugen bike from tt, that will be just fine

08/11/16 - Im stressed out enough with everything else i have to charge up these bike is to take me away from all that!

08/11/16 - Would love to, let me know when it will do 200+ miles in a day off a single charge of a couple hours. And when there's free sockets around towns.

08/11/16 - I'd certainly consider it Would need a 40mile+ real range at a minimum and I'd want a fairing as I commute all year round.

I'd also want it to look like a normal bike, not a space ship

08/11/16 - Not enough range.. very expensive to buy and takes a long time to "fill the tank"... tech is not really close enough yet... same with electric cars that's why they still put an engine in with the electrics! ! (mostly)....

08/11/16 - For me electric vehicles all fail for the same points, 1 not enough range, 2 the time it takes to recharge 3 the cost of replacement battries also not interested in renting battries as the vehicle is not truely yours. solve these and I would be more than happy to buy one, smooth motor with maximum torque available instantly almost zero maintainance and clean

08/11/16 - Just like that w**ker Brown encouraged everyone to go diesel !

09/11/16 - Yes if they had the range and the cost was massively lower than it is now. Have one that can reach 110mph and run for at least 160 miles or more per tank and not take hours upon hours to charge for ~£6000 then I'd likely buy one.

09/11/16 - They are s**t like electric cars, what's up with the goverment until there's a break through with battery life they are only good for in city's

09/11/16 - Nope 😎 not in this lifetime

09/11/16 - with a 20 mile journey to work, and the opportunity to plug it in when I'm there , it's a no brainer. Also, without a garage or driveway, an electric bike could be charged at home, but an electric car is out of bounds. Trouble is, they all look rubbish. Where's the Brammo Empulse gone, eh?

          09/11/16 - Charged at home? Try that in a 1st floor flat!

          09/11/16 - I'm not sure how much the current Mrs Hulme would like a Brammo in the dining room to be honest

09/11/16 - NO

09/11/16 - I would for fun but id never want to give up a combustion engine... wont be long til the good old 2 smoker is left to the history books

09/11/16 - No point having one if it's electric, should not I ride sports bikes for pleasure. Guess if you commute it could be a thing

09/11/16 - Not enough range.. very expensive to buy and takes a long time to "fill the tank"... tech is not really close enough yet... same with electric cars that's why they still put an engine in with the electrics! ! (mostly)....

          09/11/16 - We had electric cars before petrol pretty much. The first world speed record holders were electric. Porsche had electric and hybrid front wheel drive, rear wheel drive and four wheel drive in Queen Victoria's days, raced them too. Harrods had electric vans in the early 1900s, there were practical battery electric cars, Tilling Stevens made popular hybrid trucks and buses 100 years ago just about and were popular as they were two pedal control in days when gearboxes were difficult to deal with. We had electric milk floats, bread vans and dustcarts. Not come far in 120 years but look how far the internal combustion engine has come.

09/11/16 - I probably would yes, the mechanical wyne of the electric motor appeals.

09/11/16 - 120 miles, I wouldn't even make it to work on an electric bike.

09/11/16 - Versus a big dellorto sucking in air .... hmmmmm let me think a while.

09/11/16 - No

09/11/16 - No

09/11/16 - no never

09/11/16 - Yeah the day I become a vegan

09/11/16 - No

09/11/16 - Yes but only if it came with a really loud sound system so i can play a loud recording of a noisey vtwin volume has saved my arse a few times

09/11/16 - They havnt even got a proper cost effective recycling process in place as of yet for the lithium batterys and yet they are trying to get everyone to go electric !! As per usual no long term plan in place !!

09/11/16 - The day I have to give up the internal combustion engine on 2 wheels is the day I park the bike in my lounge as a beautiful reminder of the good times and some semblance of freedom (typed on the ferry on my way home from 2 weeks away in Spain and Portugal on my GS)

09/11/16 - No F in way. I'll make my own feul when it runs out

09/11/16 - I'll ride any kind of bike. More affordable riding options can only be a good thing for me. Bring it on.

09/11/16 - Yes, if the price and range is right !

09/11/16 - no

09/11/16 - Yea i would. No questions asked. But ill keep my MT too

09/11/16 - NO

09/11/16 - No way

09/11/16 - if i had the spare cash id buy one tomorrow as i only do 30 to 50 mile rides now.

10/11/16 - If it was free and I was skint

10/11/16 - No

10/11/16 - No way

10/11/16 - Right now ? no too many drawbacks. Long term. Yes, once battery tech is lighter and offers more range.They also sound a lot better than people assume. Simple mechanically, instant torque and the ability to potentially be easily upgraded in the future is appealing. I mean its fairly easy to upgrade battery tech as it progresses for example.

10/11/16 - I dont even have mains power in my garage!

10/11/16 - Only if it could do 190mph, go for 120miles without a top up. Sound like a cat being put through a shredder on the overun and be affordable. Until

10/11/16 - nope

10/11/16 - Angry to even think we will be subsidising the townies green lifestyles.

10/11/16 - That's not going to get me round the highlands in 3 days.

10/11/16 - Not a chance. Bicycle with batteries?????????

10/11/16 - Give me a cheap PCP deal so I don't have to worry about battery warranty/life and I'd sign up for a Zero today. I won't be selling my other bikes any time soon though!

10/11/16 - If it had the range, yes.

10/11/16 - As soon as they sort the range out, sure why not? Bucket loads of instant torque, what's there not to like about that?

11/11/16 - My 3 issues would be: 1 cost, 2 range, and 3, DIY mechanic friendly. But potentially, yes. If suitably quick, anyway! 

02/12/16 - I think you’ve hit the nail on the head – their prime use will be for commuting within cities. I bumped into a supplier a few years back at M/C Live and they said they were selling lots in European cities. They also had a simple battery you could wheel to your desk and just plug in to recharge.

Yes they will play their part, especially in helping reduce pollution in our congested cities. But price is a disincentive.

02/12/16 - They can't fix roads in North Yorkshire so chances of charging points are going to be like rocking horse poo.

02/12/16 - Yeah right! That would be a reason to surrender my bike licence!

I doubt sitting on 2 wheeled sewing machine will beat gunning a REAL bike ...besides can one of those things "walk" on its centre stand like my XS650? :D

Anyway...all these green ideas are completely pointless when China / India are pumping out pollution on a staggering scale  and remember that retarded moron Trump is going hitch the US to the pollution express!

Besides...the pollution generated in the manufacture of a lithium battery & all these electric vehicles...does that disappear into Magic Pixie land??? Folks - you're being shafted and expected to be thankful for it!

What really gets my goat is the 4th Reich dictating how my energy my domestic appliances can consume - but are happy for Mercedes / BMW / Volvo  etc to build titanic monstrosities that carry 1 fat man  or 1 deranged woman! I expect though, these manufacturers pass "Blatter Brown Envelopes" to the crooks running the 4th Reich!

Posted by Daisy Cordell
for Wemoto News on 07 November 2016 in General News



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