In Australia and New Zealand, active transport lobbyists and Green MPs are pushing for the introduction of financial purchase incentives to encourage corporate e-bike purchasing schemes
WeRide Australia officials were scheduled to meet on 23rd March with the Federal Minister for Transport and Infrastructure, Catherine King, to push for salary packaging assistance to be extended to e-bikes. This would bring provisions in line with those recently introduced for electric cars in Australia, in a move designed to tackle emission reduction goals.
WeRide Australia executive officer Peter Bourke stated, “We know even if every single vehicle purchased from today is an electric car, we will not get anywhere near the emission reduction goals the government has signed up to for the transport section. We’re saying electric cars are part of the solution but they are not the complete solution.
“Anyone in the bicycle sector is well aware of the benefits of the bicycle, whether it’s the health benefits and reducing congestion but right now we’re talking about emissions reduction. The transport sector needs to do some heavy lifting in terms of reduction of emissions and e-bikes are certainly part of it, so they should be considered the same way at e-cars when it comes to incentives for more people to buy them.”
He also referenced the UK’s Cycle to Work scheme, pointing to the potential to persuade people onto two wheels: “In the UK, 40% of people who took out a bike through the Cycle to Work scheme hadn’t been considering buying a bike and 40% were women. It simply makes bike riding more attractive.”
In New Zealand, a Taxation Bill is going through parliament, with a supplementary order paper from Green MP Julie Anne Genter proposing a scheme for employers to offer their staff e-bikes without incurring fringe benefit tax.
Deloitte tax partner Robyn Walker said, “There is definitely a trend toward employers wanting to provide benefits which have health benefits, so I wouldn’t be surprised if this was a popular option – and more popular than providing public transport.”