The Latest From T&D


//  17.06.24  //
Can e-motorcycles mitigate environmental issues?
Can e-motorcycles mitigate environmental issues?

Is the electric motorcycle a viable solution for eco-conservation in the cities and countryside? 

The role internal combustion engine (ICE) motorcycles play in emitting transport emissions has been well publicized across the world, driving governments to better facilitate electric motorbike usage as a form of transportation that aligns with climate change prevention initiatives. Recently the spotlight has been shone on ICE off-road motorbikes’ noise-polluting effects on natural habitats in the countryside, and there have been reports that the UK may ban petrol motorbikes by 2040. Could its quieter counterpart, the electric motorcycle, be a suitable solution for environmental conservation in cities and the countryside?  

Off-road ICE motorcycles negatively impacting rural settings

Recently, The Guardian reported environmental concerns involving off-roaders around countryside locations in Three Shires Head in Derbyshire, UK. Its article stressed that the noise from this type of non-electric ICE vehicle in rural landscapes not only disrupts the peace and quiet of the countryside ambience for walkers, but also has devasting effects on the local wildlife. 

ICE motorbike noise levels can affect wildlife
ICE motorbike noise levels can affect wildlife

The effects of motorcycle noise on wildlife 

The high decibel noises that motorbike engines produce can inflict deep stress on animals, which may disrupt cognitive development, make them more susceptible to illnesses, fertility issues or cause them to evacuate their habitat, implicating worrying consequences for our natural environments. To put it into context, the noise that comes out of a motorcycle engine can reach up to 116 decibels, and any noise above 85 decibels can cause hearing damage for humans, so it’s understandable to see how this vehicle could have a major impact on animals with more sensitive hearing. In contrast, the maximum decibel output of motors in the T&D FE series of electric off-road motorcycle motors is 73, which is the equivalent of a dishwasher or toilet flush, and quieter than a vacuum cleaner. 

Can quieter engines improve countryside health?
Can quieter engines improve countryside health?

Can reducing noise pollution improve the health of the countryside?

The Campaign for National Parks has revealed that just 6% of UK national parks are in good health. On a global scale, there are many issues that threaten wildlife, but could reducing noise pollution make a difference? Paul Donald’s traffication research suggests that this may be an easier issue to tackle, compared to other challenges. 

The role of electric motorcycles in reducing noise pollution in cities and rural environments

Electric motorcycles are known to be extremely quiet, they don’t have loud engines and exhausts like their ICE counterparts, and this makes them a suitable replacement for noisy vehicles. Electric drive can help to reduce stress on inhabitants and improve nature in cities and the countryside. Manufacturers are increasingly producing various city e-motorbikes and off-road electric motorbikes to help alleviate the negative effects of regular motorcycles such as noise pollution and transport emissions. 

Plans to promote electric vehicle usage
Plans to promote electric vehicle usage

The UK government may change laws to boost electric motorbike use

In other news for this region, sources have indicated that this government is considering a ban on selling new gasoline motorbikes by 2040 as part of its net zero goals. If implemented, the ban would affect all vehicles that fall under the L3 vehicle category, including light, medium & high powered motorcycles, as well as mopeds from 2030. 

Current government actions to promote electric vehicle usage

The UK’s governing body has already banned the sale of new gasoline and diesel cars from 2035, so a gasoline motorcycle ban would align further with this climate change initiative. Although nothing has been announced yet, the UK’s Department of Transport is actively working to make e-motorbikes a more attractive transportation alternative. For example, it gives financial incentives to encourage riders to purchase plug-in electric motorcycle models, with offers such as £500 off on models costing less than £10,000 until April 2025.  

What’s the outlook for e-motorcycles in the UK? 

The CEO of the UK’s representative industry body, MCIA (Motorcycle Industry Association) expected that an announcement about the gasoline motorcycle ban could come in July before government recess, however the election has been declared early, and the nation will have to wait to see what this means for ICE regulations.

Currently, the outlook for electric motorbikes in the UK is very positive, with MCIA reporting April sales figures for e-motorcycle registrations on the rise. A future ban being announced on ICE motorbikes could encourage more users to switch to using an electric model earlier if they know it won’t be legal to ride one in the future. 

The wide range of issues that e-motorbikes can help to alleviate has been well documented by the global media and regional governments, and it will be interesting to see what other regions in the world are doing to promote this sustainable travel mode in 2024 and beyond.


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