With the UK government under pressure to cut down its carbon emissions, alongside the demand to bring its ban on sales of new petrol and diesel cars forward eight years from 2040 to 2032. We could be about to see a real spark in the sales of an already flourishing electric vehicle market and this is bound to have an affect on the market for electric motorbikes.
Even though they don’t seem to be as popular as electric cars on the roads in the UK, a lot of manufacturers have started to produce and sell electric motorbikes. And local governments are helping make the transition to fully electric vehicles easier by increasing the number of charging points in local areas.
With this in mind, is it time to make the switch over to an electric motorbike? And would an electric motorbike work for you and your needs? Here’s our insight into some of the important things to consider before you buy an electric motorbike.
What do the numbers say?
Buying an electric powered motorbike does come with a range of wallet friendly, financial benefits. Firstly, the running costs of an electric bike are significantly lower compared to those of a petrol bike.
For a full charge of the average electric bike you’d be looking to pay somewhere in the region of £1-£3. Which will take you for a spin of up to 80-100 miles (which is about the same as going from Leicester to central London). For the same distance with a petrol bike, you’d be looking to spend around £15 at the pumps.
Another key financial benefit of purchasing an electric vehicle is that the UK government actually help contribute to the purchasing of electric vehicles via the “plug-in grant.” The grant pays for 20% of the purchase price of these vehicles, up to a maximum of £1500.
In addition, for an electric motorbike you can expect to pay absolutely £0 in road tax, that’s right, the days of forking out somewhere between £20-£60 to tax your bike for the year are long gone.
From a financial perspective, it may seem like buying an electric bike is a no brainer. But before you head down to your local dealer, there are some factors worth considering:
Whilst there are incentives in place to encourage the purchase of electric motorbikes, the initial cost of purchasing one can be expensive. For example, a brand new BMW C Evolution costs around £13,000, whilst the petrol equivalent will set you back around £6-7000. Meaning you’d have to clock up at least 25,000 miles before you’d notice the savings made from the cheaper cost of fuel.
Many sites may not quote online and so it may be better to call an expert bike insurance broker such as Carole Nash.
How easy is an electric motorbike to charge?
With a full charge taking around four hours, the charging aspect of electric motorbikes is something that puts a lot of potential buyers. The majority of electric bikes come with a three-pin socket you can use at home, albeit, the charging can’t be done on the street, it’s best to do it in your garage or in your backyard.
Whilst many towns and cities are now more accommodating to electric vehicles with an increasing number of charging points being installed, it still can be tricky to locate one. And they’re virtually non existent in rural areas just yet.
Is an electric motorbike right for me?
To be honest, it completely depends on how you plan to use an electric motorbike. Being fuel efficient, easy to ride and environmentally friendly, an electric motorbike could be an ideal choice if your main reason for owning one is to make a short commute to work. Bear in mind though, space for baggage isn’t always huge due to the size of the battery.
If you like to take it up a notch and ride off-road, you might be pleased to know that there are some electric noise-free dirt bikes on the market, meaning you can ride where you previously might not have been able to due to the noise bans in place.
For use as a conventional bike, with bundles of power, torque and no gears, the performance of an electric motorbike is certainly nothing to be sniffed at. However, making the transition from a petrol bike can be tricky, especially if you like to spend time in the garage tinkering and making adjustments to your bike. Also, it could be argued, that noise caused by a motorbike can help you get noticed by other road users. But being noise free, could mean you’re less visible out on the roads.
Deciding to make the transition to an electric bike can be a big decision, especially if you’ve driven nothing but a petrol bike all your life. So it is important to consider the factors mentioned and to do your research before splashing the cash.
With increased awareness of the impact we and our vehicles have on the environment, there’s no doubt that the sales of electric motorbikes will continue to increase. And with this, a lot of the current barriers to people buying will come down, governments will increase the number of charging points available and more insurers will begin to offer suitable cover.