In addition, with schemes such as Plugged in Places, the government is providing significant funding for cities installing electric vehicles charging infrastructure but the focus is very much on cars. Paul Williams, Managing Director of e-motive, thinks the government will be missing a trick if it does not include incentives and charging points for scooters and motorcycles.
Paul said: “Two-wheeled transport has some distinct advantages when it comes to zero-emissions technology. Being smaller and lighter, they are far better suited to current battery technology than cars.
“They are mechanically simpler, more reliable and considerably cheaper, which makes taking that first step into electric vehicles much easier. They are also a more practical choice as a commuter vehicle for earners in a family that needs a electric car.
“Congestion will also be far reduced through the promotion of bikes. Cars may have the capacity to carry more passengers but we know the percentage of people who fully utilise car capacity is small. On the flip side, electric cars laden with 4 passengers will suffer from significantly reduced range and will need frequent recharging. With their large battery packs, their draw on the grid will be huge compared to the small efficient battery and motor combinations seen on electric scooters such as the e-motive.”
Whilst there will be nothing to prevent scooters charging up from roadside charging points, particularly if they provide a standard 240V supply, Williams envisages special electric ‘bike sheds’ as the most efficient use of space.
“Bikes have a much smaller parking footprint for inner-city charging and you could park and charge 25 electric scooters in a relatively compact ‘shed’, making this an ideal solution for city centres where space is at a premium. It would certainly also make sense as a requirement for major city centre building developments too, either residential or business.
“As a starting point, we are asking the Chancellor to extend tax concessions to electric motorcycles and scooters, and pressing the DfT to add them to their criteria for Plugged in Places funding applications.”
Plugged-In Places, launched last month, is offering funding of up to £30 million to create a critical mass of EV infrastructure leading cities or regions in the UK to support the market for electric vehicles.
Funding will be made available to consortia made up of local authorities, businesses, electricity distributors and suppliers along with organisations like the Regional Development Agencies. The funding will support recharging infrastructure on the street and in car parks. Consortia will need to show how their plans encourage the uptake of electric vehicles as well as fitting in with other Government objectives, like improving local air quality.