MCIA welcomes ‘Fuelling the Future’ report but disappointed by omission of powered light vehicles

MCIA welcomes ‘Fuelling the Future’ report but disappointed by omission of powered light vehicles

The Transport Committee’s ‘Fuelling the Future’ report published yesterday is a welcome intervention in the journey to net zero and a zero emissions transport system, both of which MCIA are fully committed to.

Despite omitting powered light vehicles from the report, MCIA welcomes its sentiment and has called on the Transport Committee to look at the phase out plans for the L-Category sector as part of its ‘future of transport’ inquiry.

Commenting, MCIA CEO, Tony Campbell said:

It’s encouraging to see the Transport Committee hold the Government to account on the feasibility of its phase out plans, and its focus on electric powertrains and zero tailpipe emission as the preferred solution.

However, the powered light vehicle sector has been once again overlooked. We urge the Transport Committee to look at the Government’s phase out proposals for our sector in more detail.

Current phase out proposals not only wrongly assume electric to be a silver bullet solution for our diverse sector, but risk major players reviewing their place in the U.K. market until technology and alternative fuel development is such that products can be more easily brought to market”

MCIA’s ambition, based on the ‘right vehicle for the right journey’ concept, is to continue to offer the market a variety of powertrains, each of which will contribute to decarbonisation. 

Whilst CO2 emissions from internal combustion engine (ICE) powered two wheelers (PTWs) continue to be reduced, due to new technology, design and the introduction of e-fuels, the industry will continue to place more electric vehicles on the UK market every year.

PTWs can and must play a key role in the future of our urban and sub-urban transport systems as an affordable and cleaner form of personal mobility. This is especially the case for zero emission variants, something our recently published joint Government and industry Action Plan shows clearly.

However, the complexity of our sector means what’s feasible for some vehicles isn’t feasible for others. This is particularly true when it comes to ensuring zero emissions at the tailpipe. 

For example, L1 mopeds are increasingly fully electric. However, as the electrification of the L1 sector accelerates, the increased range, power, and performance required of the PTWs that make up the L3 sector, provides more of a challenge for manufacturers. 

Electric is not a silver bullet to our diverse sector. Key powertrain components such as batteries, motors and controllers are often more expensive to purchase in comparison with internal combustion engine (ICE) equivalents and the technology is not yet fully developed for use in L3 PTWs. This then requires the development of bespoke units by the PTW manufacturer and the adoption of compromised design solutions to make use of components that exist in the market, which results in the inability to meet the user’s demands with regards to performance (especially electric range) and cost.

This can result in further cost being driven into the final product, to the extent that some manufacturers are understandably cautious about introducing zero emission PTWs to their product range until the technology (especially energy density of batteries) reaches a level which allows the electrification of more PTW sectors without compromising the user’s demands and the business case becomes more viable.

Similarly, from a consumer perspective, the current price premium associated with L3 electric PTWs and the limited number available on the market are both limiting factors at present in their widespread adoption. This is why existing fossil fuels and low carbon fuels are important for the foreseeable future to ensure certain segments of the market survive prior to technology enabling a net zero, cost effective and viable longer-term solution.

Notes for Editors:

The MCIA is the body that represents the UK Powered Light Vehicle (PLV) industry. PLVs can be defined as motorised lightweight scooters, motorcycles, tricycles and quadricycles, typically with zero or low-emission power.

Within regulation they are defined L-Category vehicles (Regulation 168/2013), they are an answer to the traffic congestion and air quality challenges created by personal and goods transportation.

For more information about the work of the MCIA and Powered Light Vehicles, or to interview MCIA CEO, Tony Campbell, please contact Alfie Brierley at