|Wednesday morning, members of the Motorcycle Riders Foundation (MRF) leadership team attended a virtual seminar titled “Bridging the Gap to Climate Neutrality - The Case of eFuels for Motorcycles.” The event was hosted by the European Association of Motorcycle Manufacturers and the eFuel Alliance of Europe.
The movement to end the use of fossil fuels in Europe has gained steam in recent years. As part of this plan the European Union has proposed that all new cars registered as of 2035 will be zero-emission. While motorcycles and other two wheeled vehicles are not yet included in this directive the writing is on the wall.
The eFuel Alliance and motorcycle manufacturers in Europe are seeking ways to end the use of fossil fuels while not fully embracing the electric motorcycle. Just like in the United States, motorcyclists and their allies remain skeptical of full electrification. Concerns regarding range, grid dependability and charging locations voiced by those in the U.S. are also concerns of Europeans. To push back against electric motorcycles and expand options for bikers, many believe the answer is the use of eFuels. eFuels are climate-neutral synthetic fuels produced from renewable energy sources, including solar, wind and hydrogen. However, the cost and production concerns of eFeuls remain to be fully flushed out.a
The motorcycle sector has a $20.5 billion impact on the european economy and is seen as key to many of the transportation problems facing Europe. Motorcycle tourism and events alone contribute over $2 billion to the economies of European countries. By including all two wheeled vehicles into the numbers Europe has nearly 40 million two wheeled vehicles on the roads. The appeal of this form of transportation is obvious. The cost to commute is 1/3 that of traditional cars and because of their smaller size help alleviate much of the congestion and space issues that older, crowded European cities face.
As MRF President Kirk “Hardtail” Willard has repeatedly warned, “Policy ideas that first appear in Europe have a history of popping up in the United States.” Speaking on that topic Karl-Maria Grugl, a member of the European Association of Motorcycle Manufacturers said, “Europe is setting the scene for other regions of the world. We hope that other regions of the world follow the lead of Europe.”
The MRF has a long-standing partnership with the Federation of European Motorcyclists’ Association (FEMA) and remains committed to addressing the challenges all bikers face together. We will monitor the fuel debate in Europe and prepare for its migration to the U.S.
To read more about eFuels in Europe click here.