January 27th, 2023.

The 2023 MCIA Conference took place on Tuesday at the National Conference Centre in Birmingham.

MCIA Chairman Neil Fletcher, from Honda UK, opened the conference speaking of the key role that scooters, motorcycles and other powered light vehicles have to play in future transport plans. This paved the way for our invited industry experts to further explore this through insightful presentations and interactive question and answer sessions.

Speaking via a pre-recorded message, Jesse Norman, Minister for Transport Decarbonisation and Technology promised not to “risk a one size fits all approach” when phasing out motorcycles that need longer to transition. Despite emphasising the importance of cutting carbon emissions as a “great driver of change” and promising a response to the phase out consultation on new non zero emission L-Category vehicles “in due course”, the Minster promised to continue listening to industry. A video of the speech made by Jesse Thomas can be found HERE.

Aaron Berry from the Office for Zero Emission Vehicles detailed the government’s plans for improving charging infrastructure across the country, whilst also accepting questions from delegates as to whether the infrastructure will be ready, and suitable for our sector. He detailed plans to integrate charge points in to new homes and businesses to ensure targets for charge points can be adhered to.

By 2023: .. to have at least six ultra-rapid, open-access charge points at motorway service areas in England
By 2030: ..expect around 2,500 ultra-rapid, open-access charge points across England’s motorways and major A roads
By 2035: ..expect around 6,000 ultra-rapid, open-access charge points across England’s motorways and major A roads

Andy Eastlake, from the Zemo Partnership which plays a key role in helping the UK Government to deliver its zero carbon transport strategy and worked with MCIA on PLV Action Plan, spoke about lifecycle analysis of vehicles in our sector which included analysis in to the number of miles ridden to achieve a carbon neutrality.

Dr Tracey Worth, Chair of the Institute of Couriers gave some startling statistics and insight in to the projected volume of deliveries expected in the coming years and underlined that “an ever-changing group of light vehicles are needed for home delivery.. and there is a strong and continuing shift to light and green vehicles for home delivery”.

The day drew to a close with an open Q&A session with the expert panel representing Honda UK, Kawasaki Motors UK, Royal Enfield, Ducati UK, BMW Motorrad, UK & Ireland, Maeving Motorcycles, Wells Fargo and Black Horse – topics discussed included how the economy & cost of living will affect our market, the key challenges we face when decarbonising our sector and what needs to happen to ensure we find the right people to build careers in our sector.
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