Written evidence submitted by the Motor
Cycle Industry Association|
1. The Motor Cycle Industry Association (MCI)
is pleased to submit written evidence to the Environmental Audit
Committee Inquiry on the environmental impact of Budget 2011 and
2. The MCI is the UK trade association that represents
the supply side of the motorcycle industry, including manufacturers
and importers of mopeds, motorcycle and scooters; the suppliers
and distributors of associated goods and services. With approximately
120 members, MCI represents approaching 90% of the UK industry.
3. The Motorcycle industry in the UK today employs
around 62,000 people in 6,300 businesses. The UK industry has
been valued at over £7 billion per annum. A sister Association,
the eMCI will be launched in June this year to represent the growing
alternative powered motorcycle sector, which according to the
answer to a recent Parliamentary Question (Zak
Goldsmith MP 28 Feb 2011) is currently
twice the size of the eCar sector, in terms of new vehicles sold.
4. The MCI has played an active role in the development
of sustainable policies for motorcycling over many years and has
worked closely with the Government, police and other delivery
bodies to implement strategies and to encourage a holistic approach
5. The MCI does not request a specific
opportunity to present oral evidence, though if called by the
Committee to give evidence, will be happy to do so.
6. The lack of powered two wheeled (motorcycles,
scooters, mopeds; both alternative [electric/hydrogen] and conventionally
powered) awareness by in the Budget seems to point to a basic
misunderstanding (or lack of awareness or an unwillingness to
recognise) that a powered two wheeled vehicle is a viable and
practical commuting option and has a role to play in a low carbon
sustainable transport architecture.
7. It is interesting that all of the UK funding
for EV's is being focussed on commercial vehicles and buses, cars
and trucks. Powered two wheelers (PTW) are noticeable only by
their absence from the 2011 Budgetdespite the fact that
the ePTW sector is one of the largest in the alternative powered
8. We can conclude only that the Government have
missed a significant opportunity to reduce green house gasses
and emissions by using the tax system to encourage the use of
efficient PTW's for commuting, which would have had the effect
of increasing the likelihood of ePTW take up in the future.
9. Indeed, those tax measures that have impacted
on the PTW sector have had the opposite effect and may see those
currently commuting on a PTW switch to a car.
The Committee's Questions
10. The Committee has asked the respondents to
consider a number of points. These are set out below, accompanied
by the motorcycle industry's response, where appropriate.
11. Whether Budget 2011 furthers the Government's
green objectives, including the impact of the cut in fuel duty
on greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution;
12. Whilst relief for the motorist is both a
political and economic imperative doing can have a positive impact
on greenhouse gas emissions if such support is matched with support
for viable low carbon transport alternatives. The budget is too
one dimensional in so far as it seeks only to show concern for
the motorist by reducing fuel duty. A greater driver of lower
green house gas emissions and air pollution has been the high
levels of fuel tax, combined with high oil prices, which has resulted
in congestion on Britain's trunk roads and motorways dropping
by 12%* on 2007 figures (*Trafficmaster/RAC Foundation Journey
Time Index). However, the wider the consequencesinflationhave
mitigated many of the benefits and time savings of the lower traffic
13. Approaches to shifting the burden of taxation
from "goods" (eg labour) to "bads" (eg emissions)
and factors that need to be considered when designing and introducing
14. There is limited evidence of the Government's
intention to shift the burden of taxation to emissions in this
budget. People are making transport choices because of fuel prices,
which are being influenced by global factors rather than UK Government
policy. The disproportionate cost of public transport compared
to even expensive refueling of petrol cars also maintains the
dominance of the private car. In such an environment, the Government
should be using its powers of "taxation persuasion"
to enable "green" transport choices, but not by further
increasing carbon fuel costs which in these economic times would
be a "stick" to far. It should seek to extend "carrots"
such as tax breaks or grants to all areas of green technology,
in particular low CO2 or cleaner transport, thus driving invention
and innovation. Such incentives need to be applied with an even
hand. For example, the motorcycle industry is very concerned at
the deliberate exclusion of ePTWs from the "Plug in Grant"
and would ask the Committee to scrutinise this decision.
15. The scope for the tax system to create
a "modal shift" from high carbon transportation to low
carbon alternatives, including Fuel Duty, Vehicle Excise Duty,
and Air Passenger Duty and issues the Government should consider
when developing strategies for sustainable aviation and motoring;
16. Given the European profile of the EV sector
at the moment; the recent EU investment in green transport technologies
(24 million as part of the cross-European Electromobility
initiative Green eMotion), it must be concluded that the Government
have missed an opportunity to place the UK at the centre of the
Low Carbon transport revolution. There is little in the Budget
that indicates overt support for a shift to low carbon transport.
Indeed, two measures in the 2011 Budget will effectively dissuade
people from engaging with low carbon transport options:
17. VED on Motorcycles has increased by over
4%more than the increase in VED for cars. Current motorcycle
production produces on average 30% lower Co2 (industry survey
[ACEM] and ADEME research [French institute]).
18. The mileage rate for car business use has
increased by 12.5% to 45p. There has been no increase in the business
mileage rate for motorcycles.
19. These two measures alone demonstrate that
the Government either does not recognise the "green"
currency of conventionally powered two wheelers or is actively
using the tax system to disincentivise commuters to avoid PTW's.
20. The announcement in Budget 2011 on the
Green Investment Bank.
21. There is an opportunity for investment in
Low Carbon transport technologies, but may be too late in 2012.
They key to the success of the Green Investment Bank will be its
openness to smaller companies and entrepreneurs who are always
central to the development of these new technologies. There is
a very real danger that much of the funding will be soaked up
by large corporates or research institutes, when in fact significant
green technology "drivers" come from SMEs and other
Parliamentary Question from Zac Goldsmith MP, 28
February 2011, on the current size of the e-vehicle market:
Zac Goldsmith: To ask
the Secretary of State for Transport how many new ultra low-emission
vehicles were registered in the latest period for which figures
Norman Baker: The Department
for Transport uses the term "ultra-low emission vehicles"
to refer to vehicles with significantly lower levels of tailpipe
emissions than conventional vehicles. In practice, the term currently
refers to electric, plug-in hybrid and hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles.
Data from the DVLA suggests that 1,277 electric and
plug-in hybrid vehicles were registered in Great Britain during
2010: 268 cars, four quadricycles, 547 motorcycles, mopeds, scooters
and tricycles, six buses, coaches and minibuses, and 452 commercial
vehicles, including light vans. Data for hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles
is currently limited.
21 April 2011