Europe is at a critical juncture in its transition away from fossil fuels. With Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine continuing to threaten energy security worldwide, they may be no better time to adopt electric vehicles (EV). Those factors have contributed to growth in the EV industry, and the U.K. government is seeking the public’s view of the shifting market.
According to Auto Trader Bikes, the site has experienced a 120-percent uptick in electric motorbike interest and advertisements compared to 2021. However, that doesn’t mean that all motorcycle enthusiasts are ready to abandon internal combustion models. For that reason, the U.K. government launched a new public poll concerning ending the sale of non-zero-emission L-category vehicles by 2035.
L-category vehicles include 2- and 3-wheeled mopeds, motorcycles, trikes, sidecar-equipped motorbikes, and quadricycles. With the exception of Mob-ion's TGT electric-hydrogen scooter, most non-combustion motorbikes feature an electric powertrain. Of course, that composition could change between now and 2035, but banning all internal combustion bikes would probably push most consumers to the EV market.
The U.K.’s public consultation falls in line with several proposals currently under consideration by the European Union. In July, 2022, the European Council of Ministers upheld the Fit for 55 plan’s ban on internal combustion cars and vans by 2035. Current events in the U.K. could also shape the public’s response to the poll.
On July 19, 2022, London registered its hottest day on record, with temperatures reaching 40.3 degrees Celsius (104.5 degrees Fahrenheit). The heat wave has fueled wildfires throughout the U.K. Many attribute the extreme weather to climate change, which could further fuel the transition to EVs.
The country launched the public consultation on July 14, 2022, and the study will wrap up on September 21, 2022. Once the response period ends, the U.K. will analyze the data and publish a summary of its findings within three months. The government will also state its next steps in that summary, establishing yet another critical juncture in Europe’s transition away from fossil fuels.
Sources: Auto Trader, Gov.UK, CBS News