Tag Archives: emissions

Carrot and stick for electric vehicles

Singapore plans a carrot and stick approach to phase out fossil-fuel-powered vehicles by 2040 with a raft of attractive incentives for electric vehicles on top of bans on some fossil-fuelled vehicles.

The carrot includes a 45% rebate up to $20,000, an increase in charging points from 1600 to 28,000 and a cheaper lump-sum road tax to offset losses in fuel taxes.

Singapore’s electric car population currently stands at 1125, or just 0.18% of the 631,266 vehicles on the road. 

Carrot and stick

The stick is a ban on new cars and motorcycles unless they replace an existing vehicle.

Singapore is the the most expensive place in the world to own a car, yet it has more Maseratis, Ferraris and Lamborghinis per capita than anywhere else in the world.Singapore

Banning new cars has not stopped the super-rich who just buy an old car, trash it and replace it with their supercar.

So they have chosen the carrot of incentive measures on top of the stick approach of bans in an effort to reduce both air and noise pollution

Bans grow

It follows recent announcements in Sweden and the UK that they will ban internal-combustion-engine (ICE) vehicles by 2030 and 2035, while many cities around the world such as Brussels and Milan are banning them from their CBDs.

While motorcycles are at this stage excluded from the UK timeframe, they will not be exempt in the long run. It’s just a matter of time.

Lux Research Senior Analyst Christopher Robinson is skeptical of most of these announcements, except for Singapore.

“First and foremost, Singapore’s vehicle fleet is quite new, with the average age of a vehicle being just 5.46 years, making the time required to turn over the entire fleet of vehicles much shorter than that of other countries,” he says.

“The country focuses on transportation as a pillar of its Smart Nation initiative, and as a significantly smaller country of 5.5 million, enacting strict regulations and enforcement wouldn’t be as challenging as in larger automotive markets.”

Indian EV carrot

Emflux ONE electric motorcycleIndian Emflux ONE electric motorcycle

Prime Minister Modi is also adopting a carrot and stick approach.

He originally said all new cars and utility vehicles manufactured in the country would be electric by 2030, but he backed down after an industry backlash.

However, he is waving a $1.4 billion carrot to manufactures to make electric motorbikes and scooters, plus road tax exemptions for owners of electric vehicles.

Meanwhile, fossil-fuelled bikes face much tougher emissions regulations.

India is one of the biggest automobile manufacturers in the world, producing 4.6 millions cars last year.

It is also the biggest motorcycle and scooter market in the world with more than 21m sales a year. That is a sixth of the world’s motorcycle sales.

Sales of electric scooters in India more than doubled from 54,800 in 2016 to 126,000 in 2018, but they dropped last year as people are waiting for rebates from Modi’s EV plan.

Indian motorcycle companies Hero Electric, Ather Energy, Emflux, Twenty Two Motors, Okinawa and many other start-ups produce electric scooters and motorcycles.

Australia EV plans

In Australia, the Greens want a similar ban, the ALP plans 50% of new vehicles will be electric by 2030 and the Coalition projects 25-50% will be electric.

No matter what Australia “decides”, the matter would be out of our hands if the world stops making fossil-fuelled vehicles.

The writing seems to be on the wall … our beloved bikes are eventually heading for extinction as disturbingly presented in the dystopian film, The World’s Last Motorcycle.

It depicts a future dominated by autonomous vehicles where motorcycles are banned not only because of pollution, but because of safety.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Britain to ban all fossil fuel vehicles

In 15 years, Brits will no longer be able to buy fossil-fuelled motorcycles or other vehicles, only those that run on hydrogen or electricity … or whatever other fuel source is available in 2035.

It follows the recent announcement that Sweden will ban internal-combustion-engine (ICE) vehicles by 2030, while many capitals around the world are banning them from their CBDs.

In Australia, the Greens want a similar ban, the ALP wants 50% of new vehicles to be electric by 2030 and the Coalition projects 25-50% will be electric.

No matter what we decide, the matter would be out of our hands if the world stops making ICE products.

The writing seems to be on the wall … our beloved bikes are heading for extinction!

In fact, the British plan also suggests getting rid of all petrol and diesel transport from their roads by 2050.

Such a move is disturbingly presented in the dystopian film, The World’s Last Motorcycle, which depicts a future dominated by autonomous vehicles where motorcycles are banned not only because of pollution, but because of safety.

Vehicles banned

The British 2035 ban on new fossil-fuelled vehicles was expected to be 2040 with green groups wanting 2030 and the automotive industry going for 2050.

There is no exception for motorcycles and scooters, despite them being a minuscule contributor to emissions.

The BBC reports that the main contributors to CO2 emissions is air travel, followed by cars wth one passenger, buses.

Motorcycles aren’t even mentioned.

As for roadside nitrogen levels, motorcycles are included in “other” at about 1%.British ban

Meanwhile, London has launched a car and motorcycle scrappage scheme to help low-income and disabled people move to “cleaner vehicles” and “greener forms of transport”.

Riders will get a £1000 grant to scrap their old motorcycle and £2000 to scrap their old car.

What a tragedy if old motorcycles and cars go on the scrap heap or in static museums instead of being preserved in working order for our future generations.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

How BMW S 1000 XR meets emissions targets

Many of the upgraded models shown at the EICMA motorcycle show are lighter, mainly to meet the tougher Euro5 emissions regulations which come into force next year.

One example is the BMW S 1000 XR which largely meets the emissions targets by shaving 10kg off the total weight.

However, they say they also manage to make the bike “faster” with a more linear torque.

Emissions ‘cheat’?BMW S 1000 XR emissions

Apart from the diet, the transmission has also been adjusted with higher rations in fourth, fifth, and sixth gears. That is what makes it “faster” in top gear.

The higher gearing also helps the bike meet the tough regulations which prescribe a certain cycle of revs, gears and speeds to comply with the standard emissions test.

It’s probably a bit of a cheat that everyone is doing, but BMW say it makes it more ridable and reduces noise.

Not sure how this equates to ride ability. Will sixth gear now be only suitable for the German autobahns? Anyway, at those speeds, wind noise is louder than engine and exhaust noise.

BMW S 1000 XR emissions

At least the 999cc inline four-cylinder engine now has a more linear torque curve which should mean most of those top gears are usable.

However, engine output remains at 121kW (165hp) at 11,000rpm and peak torque of 114Nm at 9250 rpm.

At least BMW has admitted the changes.

Many others make similar gear ratio adjustments but never advise customers. They only find out if they check the ratios in the tech specs or have a test ride.


BMW S 1000 XR emissions

BMW Motorrad Australia spokesman Nick Raman says the S 1000 XR will arrive in June or early July with pricing announced closer to that date.

Other updates include standard LED lighting, cornering lights, four rider modes, full-colour TFT instruments, electronic suspension adjustment, hill hold control and dynamic brake control which reduces drive torque during braking to prevent rear wheel lockup.

Weight savings come from the 19% lighter double-sided swingarm, 5% lighter engine, and lighter exhaust and frame.

BMW says the ergos have been updated for more wind protection and comfort.

It also gets the RR’s “Flex Frame” where the engine takes on more of the load-bearing function for better agility.

Options include shift assist for clutchless up/down shifts, electronic cruise control, and daytime running lights.

It will be available in Ice Grey and Racing Red/White Aluminium.

2020 BMW S 1000 XRBMW S 1000 XR emissions

  • Engine: 999cc, DOHC Inline-4
  • Bore x stroke: 80mm x 49.7mm
  • Power: 121kW @ 11,500 rpm
  • Torque: 114Nm @ 9250rpm
  • Compression: 12.0:1
  • Transmission: Six-speed, chain
  • Frame: Aluminium bridge-type w/ load-bearing engine
  • Suspension: Fully adjustable 46mm fork; spring-preload and rebound-damping adjustable shock
  • Wheels: 3.50 x 17; 6 x 17 cast aluminium
  • Tyres: 120/70 x 17; 190/55 x 17
  • Brakes: 320mm floating discs w/ fixed four-piston calipers; 265mm disc w/ floating dual-piston caliper, ABS
  • Wheelbase: 1549mm
  • Rake: 25.5 degrees
  • Trail: 4.6 inches
  • Seat: 840mm
  • Fuel capacity: 19.6L
  • Economy: 5.3L/100km
  • Wet weight: 226kg

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Cleaner motorcycles or face the chop!

Euro 4 emissions laws have already hit most supersport models, many air-cooled bikes, single-cylinder adventurers and most Japanese cruisers and now more models either make significant updates or face the chop under Euro 5.

The new laws come into effect for new models from 2020 and existing models from 2021.

Already there is talk about some of the models that face the chop unless they have major updates.

For example, both the Honda CBR 1000RR Fireblade and Yamaha YZF-R1 will not comply with Euro 5 requirements.

Chop or cleaner emissions?

One of the solutions to the tighter emissions laws could be variable valve timing (VVT), which is common in cars.

VVT makes the engine more flexible in different conditions, resulting in increased fuel economy, lower emissions and improved performance, particularly torque.

It is already used in Suzuki’s GSX-R1000, several Ducatis and BMW’s new Shiftcam technology.

BMW R 1250 GS and RT
BMW Shiftcam

Recent patent filings in Japan reveal Yamaha will not scrap the R1 but make significant upgrade including VVT and a MotoGP seamless gearbox.

Meanwhile Honda has filed a patent for VVT to replace their VTEC system, so it could be used in the ‘Blade.

Emissions historyLoud pipes trial chop

The European Union emissions standards started in 1999 with Euro 1, followed by Euro 2 in 2003 and Euro 3 in 2006.

There followed a more-than-10-year gap before the tough Euro 4 regulations virtually halved the limits for carbon monoxide (CO), hydrocarbons (HC), and oxides of nitrogen (NOx).

Not only that, but the limits still had to be met after 20,000km of use.

Euro 5 is even more strict, cutting the limits almost in half again.

They will also require a more advanced onboard diagnostic system and motorcycles will be required to meet emission targets for the life of the bike!

It’s a big ask and it has the engineers scrambling for solutions that won’t make every bike an expensive technological nightmare.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Greens want us all on electric motorcycles

If the Australian Greens had their way, we would all be riding electric motorcycles like the one above by 2030 and would foot the bill via government incentives.

Their plan includes:

Australian Greens transport spokesperson Senator Janet Rice announced the plan after the final report of her Select Committee on Electric Vehicles was released.

Greens rewards

“The Greens are the only party with a real plan to get Australia in the fast lane so that we can reap the rewards that will come from electric vehicles,” she says.

She doesn’t say what the rewards are, but with the current electric supply problems, labouring our system wth more electrical products could put us all in the dark.

The Greens also don’t mention anything about the environmental concerns of electricity from our coal-fired power plants and the disposal of batteries.

Their reference to “strong vehicle emissions standards” probably means faster acceptance of Euro standards.

In which case, bikes such as the Kawasaki KLR650 and Suzuki Hayabusa would no longer be available for sale in Australia.

That’s hardly a reward!

Lagging behind the world

The Greens Senator says Australia is lagging behind other nations on electric vehicle (EV) incentives and infrastructure.

We are also lagging behind countries that ban some motorcycles from their CBD.

The Greens would have us follow countries such as Sweden which is among the world leaders in EV adoption with more than 50,000 plug-in vehicles registered and a plan to have a 100% fossil-fuel-free vehicle fleet by 2030.

That’s not a reference to just new vehicles coming into or made in the country. That’s ALL vehicles.

That would mean a total ban on riding all motorcycles, except electric bikes like this!

Meanwhile, the Greens want the government to incentivise motorcyclists and drivers to buy EVs.

“The government has a choice to get Australia in the fast lane, but that means hitting the accelerator with ambitious targets and incentives to drive the uptake of electric vehicles,” Senator Rice says.

In the end, the motorist pays for those incentives through taxes, so where’s the incentive?

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

What motorcycle models face the axe?

Tough European emissions laws threatened to axe several much-loved models last year, but it seems many have had a stay of execution.

The Euro 4 rules introduced in 2016 were almost 50% tougher to pass.

For example, Euro 3 required a motorcycle to pass an emissions test when new, or after 1000km. Under Euro 4 they have to still be compliant after 20,000km or 35,000km depending on the size of the machine. 

Because the requirement was so tough, the European Commission (EC) allowed a couple of years for compliance.

That ended on December 31 2018 and many models are now no longer able to be sold in Europe and several other countries that follow the same stringent rules, such as Japan.

The axe has now fallen on most supersport models, many air-cooled bikes, single-cylinder adventurers and most Japanese cruisers.

Axe reprieve

However, manufacturers are still making some of the models that looked like failing the tougher tests, strictly for markets where the Euro 4 rules do not yet apply. They include Australia, the USA and South Africa.

Suzuki Hayabusa escapes axe
Suzuki Hayabusa gets a stay of execution

That is a big enough market to make it economically viable to continue production of bikes that continue to sell well, such as the Suzuki Hayabusa.

Suzuki Australia and the USA made special mention to customers that the model would continue in their markets.

The hyperbike will eventually be replaced by an updated Hayabusa, but in the meantime, the factory will continue to make the bike for non-Euro 4 markets.

When it does return to worldwide production, the Hayabusa may not even be Euro 4 compliant.

It may be Euro 5 compliant as that standard is coming in 2020 for new models and 2021 for existing models. 

But once again there may be a reprieve from the axe. That’s not because it’s too tough, but simply because the EC has not yet agreed on the exact standards and testing methods.

Emissions reducedLoud Pipes exhausts mufflers blitz axe

Since 1999, the motorcycle industry has gone from Euro 0 to Euro 4 and reduced emissions by 91%.

Despite those reductions, most motorcycles are now more powerful and economical than they were at the end of the last millennium.

And even though sceptics said the technology would make motorcycles more expensive, they are no more expensive in real terms.

Euro 5 will lead to new motorcycles that will have a range of solutions to the emissions problem.

That will include, but won’t be limited to, leaner burn, liquid cooling, forced induction, hybrid technology and, of course, electric power.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com