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EU Votes to End Petrol/Diesel Car Sales

MEPs have voted to end the sale of new fossil-fuelled cars and vans in 2035, with a requirement that they be 55% zero emission by 2030. The Brussels MPs passed the measure, which was first mooted in October 2021, by 340 votes to 279. Recognising that the transition will be tougher for smaller companies, niche manufacturers making less than 10,000 vehicles annually will have an extra year to make the transition to 100% zero emission. This latest vote puts the EU on a longer timescale than the UK, which has set 2030 as the end date for new petrol/diesel sales, though some hybrids will still be on sale up to 2035.

But what about motorcycles? There is no mention of them in the EU legislation, so European bikers are still waiting to hear whether bikes are included in the ban or not. There’s a similar situation in the UK, where powered two-wheelers have not been specifically included in the 2030 ban. At the recent Motorcycle Industry Association (MCIA) annual conference, Jesse Norman, Minister of State for Transport Decarbonisation and Technology, hinted that there might be some wriggle room, calling the end date for motorcycles “a stretching goal,” and acknowledging that some bikes, “may need longer to make that transition.” However, the overall government strategy for transport remains decarbonisation through electrification.

The BMF, along with the National Motorcyclists Council (NMC), has been lobbying government for more flexibility and an acceptance of multiple paths to zero emissions. Jim Freeman, Chair of the BMF, said, “The BMF sticks by the multi fuel approach. We also think that battery electric, which is developing in leaps and bounds, isn’t quite there yet, particularly in user friendly infrastructure. There’s no point in installing new charging points if operators don’t maintain them, or tell customers when they’re out of service. Every time you leave someone stranded, the ripple effect in negative publicity builds public distrust and lower take up. Consumers are not stupid, they know when they’re being treated like idiots.”

Written by Peter Henshaw

Top image courtesy of The Bike Specialists