Can You Get Paid For Buying An Electric Bike?

Have you ever come across a product you really wanted to purchase, but that just couldn’t quite fit in with your budget? ‘If only it could be just a little bit cheaper…’, you might have said to yourself. What if we told you your government gives you money for buying the product you are interested in, effectively providing you with a nice discount? Well, those government programs actually exist for electric bicycles, and you can make use of them right now. The downside? In order to be eligible, you must live in one of a few elect countries. But that isn’t to say such a program won’t be coming to your county soon enough. So read on for a (not all inclusive) rundown of current and prospective government schemes for incentivizing e-bike purchases across the globe. 

1.     USA

While the US federal government heavily subsidizes the purchase of electric cars (7500$, realized as income tax reduction at the end of the financial year where the purchase is made), it has yet to implement similar measures for buyers of e-bikes. Presently, there are no government programs that provide interested parties with any incentives towards the purchase of electric bikes. If you feel the same way, the Californian Bicycle Coalition has launched a petition to present those arguments to the Californian Air Resources Board. You can sign it here: CLICK HERE



2.     Germany

Similar to the situation in the US, the German government does not incentivize the purchase of electric bikes, but at the same time grants purchase subsidies of between 3000 and 4000 Euros ($), depending on the type of electric car. The government does, however, grant certain tax advantages for electric bikes that are purchased via one’s company.



3.     UK

Just like US and German governments, the UK offers quite generous incentives for electric car purchases, ranging from 1500 Pounds for e-motorbikes to 8000 Pounds for electric vans. Yet again, e-bikes have so far been completely excluded from any government funding at the national level. Even though UK Roads Minister Jesse Norman made comments late last year about the government looking into adequate measures regarding purchase subsidies, nothing has been decided yet.



4.     Sweden

While other nations are still trying to implement adequate policies, Sweden recently went ahead and introduced a nationwide pilot scheme offering a 25% discount – up to a total value of 1100 Euro – to everyone purchasing an electric bike.



5.     France

The French government incentivized e-bike purchases for the duration of one year. The program, which expired at the end of January this year, gave consumers a one-time 200 Euro discount on their purchase. The city of Paris is going to even trump this, offering subsidies ranging between 400 and 600 Euros as part of its fight against threatening levels of air pollution.


 

6.     Norway

Not unlike Paris Norway’s capital Oslo has been plague by high smog levels in recent years. To combat this, Oslo’s regional government incentivizes the purchase of electric cargo bikes with up to 1200$. This comes as extension to a previous program, which saw discounts of up to 600$ for regular e-bikes.


 

7.     Spain

The Spanish government runs a nationwide scheme for the promotion of electromobility. Under the program, 200 Euros per bike (up to a total of 200,000 Euros) are available as purchase grants. Moreover, there’s a few local and regional level programs that work similar to the nationwide program. 



8.     The Netherlands

Widely hailed as the world’s premier cycling-friendly nation, the Netherlands has the highest number of e-bikes per capita (16.1 per 1000 inhabitants) among the major European nations. While the country lacks a nationwide program targeted at increasing e-bike sales, there are several successful programs at the regional level. For example, the city of Utrecht gives companies a discount of 1000 Euros for the purchase of fast e-bikes for employees that have to commute more than 10 km each day.



9.     Italy

Italy used to have a generous incentive scheme, paying up to 700 Euros, or 30% of purchase price of an e-bike, until it was discontinued in 2014. But there are still a number of programs at the local level, with grants numbering anywhere between 100 and 500 Euros.



Perhaps somewhat surprisingly, there is a clear pattern of governments all over the world favoring electric cars over electric bikes. Most of the countries mentioned in this post actually heavily incentivize the purchase of electric cars, but are not showing the same efforts when it comes to other forms of electrified transportation. This is especially frustrating when you consider the fact that electric bikes actually have an even better environmental record than electric cars. Under many existing schemes, hybrid vehicles, who still rely on internal combustion engines, are eligible for incentives. E-bikes, however, always have zero tailpipe emissions, don’t contribute to traffic congestion, can travel short distances (approximately 10 miles in urban areas) faster than cars and are also manufactured with much less emissions than other types of electric vehicles. Just why electric cars are favored over electric bikes is anyone’s guess, but it is certainly worth noting that many of the countries with the biggest state-sponsored electric car programs have a strong automobile lobby and domestic car makers launching their own electric vehicles. Make of that what you will. But any government truly committed to cutting down emissions and protect the environment should promote electric bikes as an environmentally friendly form of transport.


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