Four new electric motorcycles will form part of the fleet of vehicles for the Government’s Environment, Heritage and Climate Change department.
The department hopes to reduce its carbon footprint by using vehicles that will reduce emissions and therefore improve air quality.
The old diesel-powered motorcycles were sold in a part exchange and were purchased from AutoSport Ltd for a cost of £2450 for each motorcycle.
The motorcycles can carry two passengers and can go up to speeds of 50 kilometres per hour, which is within the speed limit in Gibraltar.
The battery covers a distance of 100 kilometres and can be easily removed for charging.
Speaking to the Chronicle, the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Climate Change, Dr John Cortes said: “The ministry likes to lead from the front. The government’s policy is to transform vehicles to electric, and at the very least hybrid vehicles.”
“We were at the point where we needed to replace the fleet of motorcycles for our department, and clearly we opted for the electric option.”
“They have been tried and tested by our staff, they go up the hills, they are quiet, they do not emit and you can just remove the battery when it needs to be charged.”
“It is important for Gibraltar as a whole to see the Government is investing in this clean technology and hopefully other departments, agencies and private firms will follow the lead and convert via hybrid, if necessary, to electric.”
The department has been testing the electric bikes for the past two months and after finding them suitable for the Ministry’s needs, they were purchased and used.
Cycling, walking and taking the bus are still the Ministry’s preferred options, but Dr Cortes said an electric motorcycle is a “good alternative”.
Jose Luis Bonavia of AutoSport said: “I am very pleased with this project because this is the change Gibraltar needs.”
“These vehicles are electric-powered and they do exactly the same job.”
Photo by Johnny Bugeja