Polluting vehicles can be exchanged for up to €4,000 to help pay for an electric bike under a new scheme in France

France has created a new subsidy scheme which is seen as the most generous of an array of incentives to persuade the country to get out of old-style transport and embrace active mobility. Charles Bremner discusses the subsidy in an article on The Times website.

 

On your ebike, and here’s €4,000 for it, says Macron

Polluting vehicles can be exchanged for up to €4,000 to help pay for an electric bike under a new scheme in France.

The subsidy is the most generous of an array of incentives to persuade the country to get out of old-style transport and embrace active mobility.

The scheme began this week and can be used for every family member. Le Plan Vélo, which opened modestly in 2018, has helped France become one of Europe’s fastest bicycle adopters, although it is still behind the two-wheel champions of northern Europe — the Netherlands, Denmark and Germany.

Under the new rules, the maximum €4,000 grant applies to lower-income households in low-emission urban zones. Direct subsidies have also been raised by about a third to €400 for the purchase of ordinary and electric bikes, but capped according to reported income and family size.

The state aid adds to existing support from French local authorities for bicycle buying. The Socialist-Green council of Paris provides up to €500 to any resident for the purchase of an electrically assisted bike. The human-powered version only qualifies if it folds up.

The government aims to have 9 per cent of the country using bicycles for their daily trips by 2024, compared with only 3 per cent now. That compares with 27 per cent in the Netherlands.

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