Electric motorbikes won’t return to the Isle of Man TT Races schedule in the next two years, with TT Zero set to be shelved until 2022 in an attempt to form a long-term strategy for electric racing on the island.
The Isle of Man Government Department for Enterprise, which serves as the TT Races’ promoter, announced on Monday that it will hold a moratorium on the TT Zero for 2020 and 2021.
TT Zero debuted in 2010 and has been held as part of the Isle of Man’s annual TT Races in the last ten editions, with lap records falling consistently every year.
A statement released by event organizers explained that “the running of this class and participation of the associated competitors has been increasingly challenging”.
By taking a two-year break from TT Zero competition, promoters will be able to develop and expand the class by working with teams and manufacturers and establish a long-term direction for zero-emission motorcycle racing on the island.
“As an island we remain committed to the principles and passion that continues to motivate everyone associated with the TT Zero class and the clean tech industry,” said Rob Callister MHK, a member of the Manx Parliament with responsibility for tourism and motorsport.
“Our intention is to have a moratorium on the event to allow the motorcycle industry as a whole to catch up on the leading edge developments that some manufacturers and individual race teams and universities have achieved to date.
“We remain incredibly proud of everything that has been achieved in clean emission racing at the TT and will work closely with the industry and with manufacturers without the pressure and focus of delivering a race format to build on the success to date.”
Technology improvements in the past decade have seen lap times fall considerably, but at the expense of entry sizes as smaller teams struggled to keep up with developments.
Part of the reason for pausing the competition is to grow the class and encourage more teams, universities and manufacturers to participate.
Michael Rutter won the last two editions of the race, which is held over a single lap of the 37.73-mile circuit, setting a record time of 18:34.172 and average speed of 121.909 mph in this year’s event.