Will UK axe ICE motorcycles in 2030?

For years, governments have talked about ending the sale of internal combustion engine cars and trucks, but motorcycles have generally escape the eagle eye of emissions regulators. That’s not the case anymore, with transportation authorities in the UK asking the public when they should legislate the end of gasoline-powered motorcycle sales—and suggesting the year 2030 as the end date.

This news comes from a UK government website, seen here. At that site, the regulators ask the public’s input on setting an end date to ICE motorcycles:

Consultation description

Seeking opinions as to when the UK should stop selling new non-zero emission L-category vehicles.

L-category vehicles include the following and their sub-categories:

  • L1 – light 2-wheel powered vehicles (including mopeds)
  • L2 – 3-wheel mopeds
  • L3 – 2-wheel motorcycles
  • L4 – 2-wheel motorcycles with sidecars
  • L5 – powered tricycles
  • L6 – light quadricycles
  • L7 – heavy quadricycles

Non-zero emission vehicles produce harmful exhaust air emissions while driving. These include greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide, and pollutants, such as nitrogen dioxide.

We are proposing dates of:

  • 2035 for all L-category vehicles at the latest
  • 2030 for L1, L2, L3e-A1, L6 and L7 sub-category vehicles

We will subsequently discuss:

  • which L-category vehicles could be derogated
  • the methods to enforce requirements
  • the role, if any, of alternative fuels in achieving this goal

There’s lots there, including the possibility of excepting some vehicles (derogation), or allowing alternative fuels. Perhaps hydrogen-powered  motorcycles have a future, or perhaps 125cc motorcycles will be allowed? We’ll try to keep an eye on this story for you, as it’s likely a foreshadowing of similar rule changes coming to Canada, which will certainly have an effect on all of us, and where we can ride. EVs make more sense in densely-populated Europe and the UK than they do in say, Pink Mountain, British Columbia. Quick-charging stations are few and far between once you leave Canada’s mega-cities, which would reduce the capability of motorcycles to travel and explore our country.

Note that the UK isn’t actually proposing a ban on gasoline-powered bikes, only a ban on the sale of new machines, and we’d expect similar rules in other countries, including Canada if it happens here.

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