Super SOCO and the rise of electric mopeds
Electric cars have been dominating the discourse on sustainable mobility for quite some time now.
Not only has the UK government recently pledged to ban the sale of all fuel-powered cars from 2030, but manufacturers have also jumped on the bandwagon and started mass-producing electric vehicles.
According to data from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), car production in Britain has fallen to its lowest level in more than a decade, but demand for electric cars does not appear to be abating.
Electric vehicle production in the UK – including battery electric, plug-in and hybrids – now accounts for 25.8% of all production.
Even though the production of electric vehicles is not going to decrease, another mode of transport – electric mopeds – has been grossly neglected.
Electric mopeds are not discussed or invested as much despite the benefits they provide, mainly for historical and cultural reasons.
According to Richard Jordan, managing director of electric moped producer Super SOCO, after World War II many Britons’ appetite for motorbikes was high, but waned once cars became cheaper and more available for consumption. massive.
Now, demand is on the rise again as the pandemic has changed habits and soaring costs of living have kept people from buying electric cars, considered too expensive by many families.
“Electric mopeds cost about a tenth of the price [of an EV] and 1/15 the cost of a gas-powered car,” Jordan told City AM. “And if you’re moving yourself or small amounts of cargo, it’s just a much easier way to get around. “
In terms of environmental benefits, electric motorcycles are also greener than cars, as their life cycle – including production, use, electricity and disposal – is around one-sixth that of electric motorcycles. an EV.
“Electric mopeds are much better for the environment than even an electric car,” Jordan continued. “Driving this step change can really help reduce emissions. »
Founded in 2015, Super SOCO is one of the UK’s largest electric moped manufacturers with 30% of the electric market and 2% of the overall market.
People’s need to travel independently during the pandemic has played a big role in the company’s success.
“The pandemic has had a big impact on our sales, but it’s also woken people up to the fact that there’s a better way to do this,” he said. “There is a way to improve our personal mobility experience and get around town without emissions.”
Although demand continues to grow, Jordan believes the motorcycle industry still suffers from a real image problem, as the average age of the buyer is 57 and 92% is made up of men.
“One of the things we hope to do is spread the word. It’s not just encapsulated leathers,” he continued. “[E-mopeds] can really work with people’s lifestyle.
To help electric motorcycles become as popular as electric cars, Jordan called on the government to actively help the industry by repairing the “damage it caused” when in December 2021 it made changes to the program plug-in grants.
Under the revised scheme, plug-in electric motorcycles worth more than £10,000 are no longer eligible to receive a grant of up to £1,500.
“We don’t know why they did this and the best thing [the government] could do is to repair the damage they caused in November and restore the subsidies for electric motorcycles, ”concluded the general manager.