The Motorcycle Action Group (MAG) has pointed out to motorcyclists how Government policies impact motorcycle business plans. Recent headlines proclaiming that Kawasaki will go all electric by 2035 are unlikely to be the last as other manufacturers follow.
Kawasaki released a business policy briefing on October 6th, 2021, stating that they are planning to introduce at least ten battery and hybrid electric models by 2025, and that their entire range for ‘developed countries’ would be electric by 2035.
There is evidence that the brand is also working on using carbon-neutral fuel (hydrogen).
Both MAG and, more recently, the Federation of European Motorcyclists Associations (FEMA) conducted polls of riders in the UK and throughout Europe showing that the vast majority of motorcycle enthusiasts are not creating the demand for such bikes. (See MAG’s survey here, and FEMA’s article here.)
Recently elected MAG Chair, Neil Liversidge, said:
“This announcement clearly demonstrates that Government policy is designed to limit our choice of the kind of motorcycle we ride by forcing industry to supply what the Government wants, not what riders want. Whilst we have no opposition to the march of progress, we are opposed to Government dictating our transport choices in this way.
MAG is opposed to plans to ban the sale of petrol motorcycles by 2035 because we value our freedoms and have no faith in governments to make the right market decisions. We cannot guarantee to accurately predict the state of the technology or the viability of an all-electric vehicle fleet by any arbitrary date, but we are prepared to predict that the Government’s predictions will be wrong.”
MAG’s newly appointed Vice Chair, Ian Churchlow, added:
“I have been an enthusiastic Kawasaki owner and rider since I started out as a 17-year-old learner. During this period Kawasaki has built an extraordinary road and racing heritage. The announcement that they will no longer offer a traditional petrol-powered engine in Europe after 2035 is a severe disappointment that must surely damage Kawasaki’s standing and alienate the many marque enthusiasts who have supported the company’s growth from its inception in the early 1960s.”
MAG will be contacting Kawasaki to discuss their business plans and understand the potential opportunities that could result from a free market. MAG will also continue to campaign against the proposed ban of petrol-powered internal combustion engine (ICE) motorcycles. A major new campaign reflecting riders’ calls to defeat all proposals for banning the choice of riders to buy new petrol-powered ICE motorcycles is now MAG’s urgent priority.