Government plans 2035 ban on new non-zero emission motorbike sales

18 Jul 2022

The UK government has outlined plans to end the sale of all new petrol-powered motorcycles and scooters by 2035 at the latest, and have invited the public to consult on the plans.

The government has previously confirmed that all new cars and vans sold in the UK must be zero-emission by 2030 – although a limited number of hybrid models will be allowed until 2035.

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With the number of zero-emission two-wheeled vehicles on the roads now increasing rapidly, the government has now opened a consultation to introduce dates to end the sale of new L-category vehicles, which include mopes and motorbikes. 

There are seven main classes of L-category vehicles. The government wants a 2030 cut-off on the sale of non-zero emission vehicles in classes L1 (light two-wheel mopeds), L2 (three-wheel mopeds), L3e-A1 (two-wheel-motorcycles that produce no more than 11kW), L6 (light quadricycles) and L7 (heavy quadricycles). 

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The sale of non-zero emission vehicles in the remaining classes would be allowed until 2035 at the latest.

The consultation, which runs until 21 September on the government website, does ask respondents about the timing and feasibility, and how derogations and exemptions to the rule should be considered. 

In an introduction to the consultation Trudy Harrison, the minister of state for transport, said: “Zero emission L-category vehicles don’t just offer us a vital reduction in CO2 emissions; they open up a future where our roads are less congested, and air and noise pollution are reduced across our local communities.”

She added: “I stress that this consultation is not about imposing restrictions; it is about addressing the climate change challenge and creating energy independence, providing certainty to industry and consumers, and ensuring the creation of a zero emission L-category industry fit for the 21st Century and beyond.”

To speed the development of the zero-emission motorbike industry, the Department for Transport has also launched a £350,000 fund for a competition to help industry develop the zero-emission motorcycle supply chain in the UK. The aim is to help create a manufacturing base for the machines in the UK.


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