The Green Revulsion

The Federation of European Motorcyclists Associations (FEMA), which is now promoting itself as a “consumer’s association”, reports that the 14th MEP Ride held on May 5th led more than a hundred participants from Brussels (Belgium) to Circuit Zolder, the famous racetrack in Flanders.

FEMA annually organizes this motorcycle ride for Members of the European Parliament and their assistants. Right To Ride’s Trevor Baird has attended the MEP Ride over several years in various roles and in 2010 attended as a rider from Northern Ireland to highlight our issues with Europe regarding motorcycling.

FEMA is congratulated for attracting riders and their bikes for the 2011 MEP Ride 2011 with 80 departing from the European Parliament with special mention to the riders from SMOTO, one of the riders organisation in Finland, who travelled to the MEP Ride on hard tail choppers with extend forks.

This year however, Right To Ride decided not to attend as the programme of events focused on electric motorcycles and the latest developments in the field of green mobility.

There was no focus on the issues that we deem as important right now and we preferred to stay home and interrogate our own politicians on local, national and European issues before and during the Northern Ireland Assembly and Council Elections.

This year the FEMA MEP ride did not promote issues such as the proposals from the Commission on anti-tampering, mandatory fitment of alleged safety equipment, and powers of enforcement.

The Dutch MEP Wim van de Camp, (also rapporteur of the Internal Market and Consumer Protection Committee who supports tougher anti-tampering measures) was one of the patrons of the MEP Ride where he took the opportunity to promote Zero Motorcycles, an electric motorcycle company based in his constituency in the Netherlands.

This year, the FEMA MEP ride focussed on “Clean Week 2020”, Europe’s green mobility event, electric motorcycles, mopeds and scooters, ecological super technology and the announcement of the eBike of the Year.

In FEMA’s press release on the event, Aline Delhaye, the General Secretary, offered her explanation of why motorcycle and scooter users support alternative-energy powered two wheelers (electric or hydrogen-powered vehicles).

She stated that “no-emission two-wheelers hold as much promise as cars:

  • they require less material and energy to manufacture, and less energy for everyday use;
  • they congest neither roads nor parking spots;
  • they hardly damage the road surface;
  • recycling costs and residual waste is much lower than all other motorized transport mean;
  • and not the least, everybody is able to afford an electric motorcycle or scooter”

Although she failed to mention that electric motorcycles have batteries which are unpredictable and cost £2000 to replace, which means that when they reach the second hand market, their value could fetch a far lower percentage of their original price.

As a “consumer association” perhaps FEMA may wish to inform electric motorcycle manufacturers that they need to start addressing the battery problem now!

Within the European arena, these technologies are seen as alternative energy and part of a “Green Revolution” for motorcycling and transport in general.

If electric bikes are the only future at the exclusion of the internal combustion engine, will this be seen as riders as more of a “Green Revulsion”?

Read about the 2011 MEP Ride –

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