January 26th, 2018.

The European Association of Motorcycle Manufacturers, ACEM, hosted its 13th annual conference in Brussels yesterday. The event, titled ‘Sustainable motorcycling in Europe, attracted more than 250 attendees from all over Europe, representing businesses, representatives from the European Commission, the European Parliament, Member States, NGOs and other organisations. The discussions addressed the role of the motorcycle industry in the sustainability of transport in Europe.

Stefan Pierer, CEO of the Austrian motorcycle manufacturer KTM and current President of ACEM said: “Our industry is committed to sustainability, which we understand as a complex process related to environmental performance of vehicles, road safety and economic viability of our operations.

“Since 1999, our sector moved from the Euro 0 to the Euro 4 standard. Carbon monoxide emissions were reduced by 91%. Nitrogen oxide and carbon emissions considered together went down by 92%. Even more, this reduction in limit values took place at the same time that new and more stringent testing procedures were introduced in European legislation.

“In the coming months, we will start working on the implementation of the future Euro 5 environmental standard. However, manufacturing vehicles requires complex planning and we urgently need clarity from the European Commission regarding the technical content and implementation timeline of Euro 5."

Antti Peltomäki (Finnish), Deputy Director-General of the European Commission’s Directorate General for internal market and industry (DG GROW) said: “The motorcycle industry is undergoing similar structural changes to the ones we see in other European industries. In our recent industrial policy communication we looked into how Europe’s industrial sector can become smarter, cleaner, more sustainable and, at the same time, gain a competitive edge. We must remember that road transport still represents about 25% of Europe’s greenhouse gas emissions."

Greg Archer (UK), Director for Clean Vehicles at Transport and Environment said: “Technology is changing faster than policy. If the motorcycle industry is to become an urban solution, future vehicles must be not just low emissions, but zero emissions."

The European motorcycle and mopeds markets in 2017
ACEM also presented the provisional statistics for the motorcycle industry in 2017. The latest figures showed that a total of 931,445 motorcycles were registered last year. This represents a decline of 9.5% compared to 2016 registration levels. The largest motorcycle markets in Europe in 2017 were: Italy (204,579 units), France (162,828 units) and Germany (140,667 motorcycles).

On the other hand, the electric motorcycle market grew from 3,496 units in 2016 to 4,121 units in 2017 (+20.4%). However, it still remains at niche levels. Only 0.45% of all motorcycles registered in Europe in 2017 were electric.

The European moped market went from 316,662 units in 2016 to 399,426 in 2017. This represented an increase of 26%. The largest markets for mopeds in Europe were: France (107,322 units), Netherlands (86,826 units), Germany (33,254 units), Poland (29,633 units) and Italy (26,030 units).

Vehicle exhibition of new technologies
During the ACEM conference several European and international brands showed some of their latest models and prototypes.

The members of the RESOLVE consortium (see NOTE FOR EDITORS) presented two electric prototypes, a three-wheeler and a light quadricycle. The project was funded by the EU with 6.8 M euros from the European Horizon 2020 programme. It involves several European companies including Austrian motorcycle manufacturer KTM and the Italian company PIAGGIO.

The members of the Connected Motorcycle Consortium (CMC), the R&D platform to foster cooperation in research and development in the field of cooperative intelligent transport systems (C-ITS) exhibited some of their latest vehicles. The CMC, which is open to a wide range of organisations including motorcycle OEM, automotive companies, automotive part suppliers and research institutions, aims promote timely and comprehensive use of C-ITS systems offering the potential to improve safety for motorcyclists.