Tag Archive: Incentives

  1. Oslo study shows e-bike subsidisation effective in encouraging active travel

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    Source: Science Direct, Journal of Transport & Health Vol. 35, H.B. Sundfør, S. Berntsen, E.T. Bere, A. Fyhri

    Researchers have noted that although there have been multiple e-bike subsidisation programs in Europe, limited research has been done on the effects of these schemes on travel behaviour, and whether they encourage more cycling and physical activity.

    E-bike subvention study overview

    Hanne Beate Sundfør, Sveinung Berntsen, Elling Tufte Bere, and Aslak Fyhri conducted a study on the effects of e-bike incentivisation in Oslo, Norway during 2020. It looked at the short-term effects on citizens who received a subsidisation from the government towards purchasing an e-bike, paying special attention to how it affected their cycling and physical activity levels.

    The subvention from Oslo City Council offered to cover up to 50% of the cost of an e-bike for residents. The study involved subvention beneficiaries completing questionnaires about the distance they travelled on various modes, and overall distance. It also involved them self-reporting the time they spent on e-cycling, conventional cycling, walking, moderate physical activity, and vigorous physical activity.

    Bicycle usage and physical activity hypothesis

    The group tested 3 theories about e-bike purchase subsidization effects on everyday cycling and physical activity. Firstly, that subsidising e-bikes would increase bicycle usage for trips below 50 km. Secondly, that subventions would lead to an increase in MET physical activity due to more daily active travel, including e-biking, conventional cycling and walking. And thirdly that subsidising e-bikes would lead to higher overall MET minutes of physical activity, (where MET means metabolic equivalent of task, a fitness measurement that signifies how intense a physical exercise is).


    Findings showed that Oslo’s 2020 e-bike subvention program positively impacted cycling behaviour. The study team discovered an increase in distances travelled by bike, and cycling itself as a more commonly used transport mode. It found that the scheme resulted in e-bike activity climbing by 12.6%, with citizens using electric instead of conventional bikes, public transport and cars.

    The study also revealed that while e-biking increased, conventional bicycling and walking decreased. Interestingly the researchers discovered that there had been an increase in MET-minutes from active transportation overall, showing that the higher levels of e-biking exercise covered the reduced exercise from walking and conventional cycling, showing the positive effects of Oslo’s subvention on encouraging more active travel through e-biking.

    Learn about the study in more depth and how it could aid environmental and public health targets.

  2. Brabant incentive program has a positive effect on e-bike use

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    Source: Fietsberaad

    A study on the Brabant bicycle incentive program, B-riders, revealed that 70% of participants cycled to work on an e-bike as many or more days as planned during the initial six months.

    The B-riders program ran between 2013 to 2018, aiming to encourage North Brabanders to switch from cars to e-bikes. Researchers at Utrecht University and TU Delft conducted the study into the participants’ behavioral changes. Participants, who were required to purchase e-bikes and not own one beforehand, received monetary incentives based on kilometres cycled during rush hours. The program, costing one million euros, successfully prevented over a million car journeys during peak times.


    In the first month, 51% of participants followed their intended commuting frequency, with 8% cycling more and the rest less. Notably, 47% of former car commuters and 55% of multimodal travellers cycled as planned, highlighting motorists’ underestimation of cycling days. Over the subsequent six months, 50% cycled as intended, 21% exceeded their plans, and 29% cycled less. Remarkably, 68% maintained their initial intentions, with 83% of those planning 4 to 5 cycling days per week sticking to their goals.


    The study found that factors like attitude towards cycling and goal feasibility had limited influence on participants. Financial rewards and the Netherlands’ cycling-friendly environment may have played a role. However, with all participants already positive towards e-bikes and having registered to take part in the program, the question of motivating less enthusiastic individuals to cycle more remains unanswered.


    The B-riders program surveyed participants three times, with 547 fully completing questionnaires. Published in the Journal of Cycling and Micromobility Research in December, the study concludes that the e-bike holds potential for substituting cars in commuting.

  3. Employer cycling incentives effective both short and long term

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    Source: fietsberaad CROW

    Measures that encourage employees to cycle to work in the Netherlands are still effective not only in the short term but also after a number of years. In particular, remuneration campaigns and purchase allowances reduce the number of car journeys among employees. This is the result of a study by MuConsult based on data from Zuid Limburg Bereikbaar.

    Many employers try to encourage their employees to come to work by bike with measures such as e-bike borrowing, purchase subsidies and the provision of showers. They usually evaluate these measures only during and shortly after the project, and the results are almost always positive.

    Accessibility organisation Zuid Limburg Bereikbaar has been carrying out studies into the effects of its cycling programmes for some time. Because the incentives have remained roughly the same over that period, the data from those studies provide an opportunity to examine the longer-term effects. Employees of mobility consultancy MuConsult carried out this research and wrote an article about this that recently appeared in NM Magazine.

    Over a period of ten years, Zuid Limburg Bereikbaar conducted a total of twelve surveys among commuters. Many of them have joined a panel where there is data at the individual level over the years. There were 30,000 completed surveys available with at least two measuring points over time. The data provides insight into the mobility behaviour and car ownership of commuters and any changes therein.

    With a model study, the MuConsult researchers mapped out the effects in the short term and the longer term (about five years). In doing so, they took into account, among other things, autonomous developments, such as the Corona crisis, which led to a decrease in car journeys. Most measures led to 10-20% fewer car trips among the user group in the short term. In the longer term, this effect decreases by a few percentage points.

    Reward actions and purchase subsidies had the greatest effect. Reward actions led to 18% fewer car trips in the short term and 16% in the longer term, and purchase subsidies of up to 13% in the short term and 12% in the longer term.

  4. Lille offers incentive for drivers to choose greener transport modes

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    Source: TheMayor.eu

    Participants can enjoy a cash benefit for making use of any other mode of transport than the private car

    As more European cities make moves to decrease congestion in improve quality of life for residents, the metropolitan authorities of Lille have launched the new incentive campaign, Ecobonus “Changing, it pays off” (Changer, ça rapporte). The goal of the scheme is to make a tangible improvement to traffic jams in the city, especially during the congested rush hour. Announced in late March, interested drivers have until May 12 2023 to sign up.

    The campaign concept and key word is “change”, with the aim of encouraging a change in habits for commuting to work. The private car is currently still the most popular mode of transport for such a journey, and making changes to long-established habits can be hard to do.

    How does it work?

    Registered participants can get a generous 2 euros for every solo journey that they avoid taking by private car, direct to their bank account. This is capped at 80 euros per month, which would equal around 1.3 journeys per day, or a working week’s there-and-back-again commutes.

    Alternatives to driving alone might include carpooling, cycling, telecommuting, using public transport or shifting trips to fall outside of peak hours. All of these are included as legitimate modes to count towards the incentive, and the only excluded change is a change of route whilst still driving solo.

    The scheme is delivered via the “Changer, ça rapporte” app, where participants need to report each eligible journey. The campaign will run experimentally over a 9 month period, from September 2023 to June 2024, on the A1 and A23 motorways leading into Lille. If data shows a reduction in congestion in the targeted times and areas, the incentive may be extended to include other roads. From June 2024, it is intended that the incentive be made permanent, via a loyalty program partnership with local merchants.

  5. French government to offer €6,000 conversion bonus for electric scooters and motorcycles

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    Source: Cleanrider

    The French government has announced an unprecedented conversion bonus for the purchase of electric or very low-polluting vehicles. This figure could reach €6,000 depending on income conditions, with full details yet to be confirmed. In practice, the new premium will replace the current subsidies offered in France.

    Alongside this incentive, the French government has highlighted further plans to increase the prevalence of electric two-wheelers in the population. Further communication and coverage regarding the safety of two wheels will be implemented, with safety training incorporated into the B license. Additionally, from 2022 a new generation of radars will be installed with the goal to control noise emissions of two-wheelers.

  6. Up to $1,500 in tax credits proposed for ebike buyers in Biden plan

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    As part of the Build Back Better proposal, purchasers could get a credit of up to 30 percent against the cost of the bike

    Source: The Verge

    A proposed federal tax credit for new electric bike purchases has passed the most recent round in Congress, with the especially positive news being that, following its reduction by the House of Representatives to 15 percent, the credit rate is back to 30 percent.

    Ebikes are an invaluable tool in improving not only the health of our planet, but also the general population, and such an incentive could have a real impact on the uptake of electric powered bicycles in the United States. In an country where mass adoption of ebikes is still struggling, such a move has the potential to make a real impact on the population, and on related infrastructure.

    All three ebike classes are included as eligible in the incentive, up to a wattage of 750, and with the 30 percent refund capped at $1,500. It is worth noting, that as a fully refundable tax credit, lower-income individuals would be to claim it

    As for further details, the proposal would not be applicable to ebikes costing over $8,000, and the 30 percent credit is gradually reduced once the bicycles costs more than $5,000. It is also a means-tested concept, therefore according to tax status, the credit would begin phasing out $200 for every $1,000 spent on the purchase for individuals who earn $75,000, heads of household earning $112,500, and married couples who file jointly earning $150,000.

    This would be a welcome move for climate and active mobility campaigners. Indeed, the cause of protecting both our environment and our health naturally go hand in had. With ebikes costing thousands of dollars as standard, such incentives can help to make real progress in these areas and change lives. In reporting on the credit, Verge noted that a recent study found that if 15 percent of car trips were made by e-bike, carbon emissions would drop by 12 percent.

    Further benefits found within the lengthy, 1,600 page bill may be welcome news to cyclists, with pre-tax commuter benefits for those who cycle to work or use bikes shares, similar to those which exist for people using park-and-ride or public transit. The proposed bicycle benefit would allow cyclists to get up to 30 percent of the parking benefit — currently equivalent to $81 a month, less than $1,000 a year.

  7. icct considers potential of charging methods and incentives to catalyse electric two-wheeler market

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    Following on from an article about state government incentives in India are making many electric two-wheeler models near equivalent in price to gasoline models, a new piece by The International Council on Clean Transportation (icct) looks in detail at Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) and charging infrastructure incentives.

    Two-wheelers are a mass market in India, and lower upfront costs also equate to lower monthly costs for those who borrow. But what about running costs? Fuel is the key factor, and with gasoline prices rising, and set to continue to do so, electric two-wheelers present a very appetising alternative.

    The article takes a look at range, noting that many short-range electric two-wheeler models can achieve 75 km to 100 km of real world-range in city driving conditions, while mid-range models with real-world range closer to 150 km are in the pipeline. And with these figures and general usage patterns, charging could be well managed at home only. Home charging, however, relies very much on the user’s behaviour and can present a range of particular obstacles. For these reasons, public charging infrastructure is also important in the electric mobility big picture.

    It is noted that there would be a greater reliance on public charging in the earlier years of adoption, while home facilities are installed and integrated into new developments. The author goes on to break down the TCO considerations when including the impact of public charging:

    “From our earlier work, we know that electric models have a lower total cost of ownership (TCO) than gasoline models at current gasoline prices and with home charging. Since the cost of public charging can be high, sometimes twice as high as residential electricity tariffs, I build here on our cost parity model to examine what happens to TCO parity under different charging scenarios. I assumed the average residential electricity tariff to be INR 7/kWh and the average public charging tariff to be INR 14/kWh. Further, I looked at the impact on TCO parity at two baseline prices for gasoline—average prices in 2021 and in 2019—and included a 5% annual escalation in both electricity and gasoline costs.”

    The charts below show the timescales at which a 150km real-world range electric motorbike may reach 10 year TCO cost parity with gasoline fueled motorbikes, first without, and then with incentives. The incentives calculation “includes the revised FAME-II upfront subsidy and the preferential Goods and Services Tax (GST) benefit for the electric model.”

    chart sourced from theicct.org
    chart sourced from theicct.org

    The figures illustrate that cost parity could be achieved by 2022 solely via home charging, and by 2023 with entirely public charging and no incentives. The charts also adjust to consider gasoline prices as they were 2 years prior, and at that rate parity is reached in 2023 with 100% home charging, and 2025 with only public charging. It can be seen that a lower gasoline price and reliance on public charging together cause the greatest delay in reaching TCO parity.

    By contrast, when the chart takes purchase incentives into account, parity is already be achieved even if relying solely on the more expensive public charging. On top of this, incentives can also counteract a gasoline cost reduction to 2019 prices. There author notes that, “the current upfront purchase incentives are playing an enabling role in alleviating any charging cost related anxiety that consumers might have. That’s especially useful in the early phases of the market when the infrastructure for home charging is less mature.”

    The article goes on to elaborate on some of the challenges and barriers involved in home charging, such as socket requirements, and objections from neighbours or housing associations. It concludes that achieving TCO parity is key to the adoption of electric two-wheelers by the mass market, and that it is therefore the perfect time for governments to take action in incentivising their uptake.

    Read the original in more detail here: https://theicct.org/charging-electric-2w-india-sept21?utm_source=ICCT+mailing+list&utm_campaign=d5a2a307e4-lately_from_feb2018_COPY_01&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_ef73e76009-d5a2a307e4-510831568

  8. France is stingy in financing sustainable mobility

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    In May 2020, France introduced the so-called “Forfait Mobilité Durable”, a financial incentive to encourage employees to commute sustainably. The conditions for 2021 have been slightly adjusted. A comparison with Belgium shows that France is skimping on sustainable mobility.

    In the private sector, an employer may intervene up to a maximum of € 500 per year in the purchase of a conventional bicycle or an EPAC, but also in the equipment, accessories, repair and insurance. “May”, because the measure is voluntary. The same intervention is also allowed in the use of shared e-scooters and self-balancing vehicles.

    That amount is exempt from taxes and social security. The employer may contribute more, but everything above € 500 is subject to social security and tax and the employees will also have to declare it as income. Some employers grant their employees a kilometer allowance (Indemnités Kilométriques Vélos – IKV). They can continue to do so, but that fee must be deducted from the € 500.

    This is a peculiar measure because it discriminates against workers who live further from their work. If you commute a decent distance with a speed pedelec, for example, you will soon reach that ceiling of € 500. And that, while it is precisely employees who live far from their work who need extra motivation to switch to sustainable mobility. In the 365SNEL project in Belgium, 20% of the test riders definitely switched to a speed pedelec. A total of 15% previously used a car. In Belgium they can enjoy a tax-free mileage allowance up to € 0.24. The project showed that they drove an average of 21.6 km per day. Assuming 220 working days per year, this results in a tax-free extra of € 1,140, ​​a lot higher than what France is allowing.

    The scheme for employees in public service is different. There, a maximum contribution of € 200 is provided for each employee who uses a bicycle or an EPAC to commute. They must do this for a minimum number of days per year, based on their working time. However, this € 200 cannot be combined with, for example, financial compensation for a subscription to rent an (e)-bike for commuting. In Belgium there is no distinction between employees in the private and public sector. It is not entirely clear to us why France makes this distinction. “L’Hexagone” appears to be willing to invest in sustainable mobility, but it should not all cost too much. Perhaps someone in Paris should carry out an in-depth study and calculation of the internalisation of external costs and benefits of the different transport modes. This will quickly show that skimping on sustainable mobility is not really a profitable policy that benefits society. Molière’s “miser” is long dead.

    Annick Roetynck

    Picture: European Mobility Week

  9. LEV Mobility Responses Covid-19

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    Below is a list of initiatives that are or will be implemented to support the uptake of light electric mobility, cycling and other forms of more sustainable forms of mobility  in European Member states and Switzerland in the aftermath of the Corona-crisis.


    • Bicycle ticket in trains are free of charge –  from 1 July until 31 December 2020. Please find more information @Belgiantrain.

    Benelux countries

    • Countries urge European Commission to prioritize (electric) cycling as ‘post-virus transport cure’. Please find more information @Benelux. or @Euractiv.


    • Bike repair subsidy ‘’Coup de Pouce Vélo’’- €50 for repairs – 11 May to 31 December 2020. Please find more information @Service Publice or go to @Coup De Pouce Velo.

    European Parliament

    • MEPs urged European Parliament President David Sassoli to boost the uptake of cycling and walking. Please find more information @Euractiv.


    • Reduced VAT rates – 1 July and 31 December 2020 – From 19% to 16% and 7% to 5%. Please find more information @The Bundesregierung.


    The Netherlands

    • The City of Amsterdam tests two heat sensing camera’s to improve flows of cyclists and reducing big queus at traffic lights. Please find more information @CityofAmsterdam.


    • Fix your bike voucher scheme – £50 for repairs. Please find more information @Gov.UK.


    • Lisbon – Purchase subsidy (electric) bicycles and cargo bicycle – €350 electric bicycle / €500 (electric) cargo bicycle. Please find more information @Lisboa.


    • Madrid – Purchase incentive for non-pollution vehicles – Maximum 50% of total price or financial assistance up to €150 (electric) scooters, €500 (electric) bicycles, €600 (electric) mopeds and €750 (electric) motorcycles – €2.5 million available for 2020 and €3.0 million in 2021. Please find more information @ElPais.

    Photo by Alpine Region.

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