Tag Archive: subsidies

  1. My-eScooter calls for a reform of tax benefits for sustainable mobility

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    My-eScooter, a company from Nivelles specialized in the production and distribution of innovative electric scooters, reopens the debate on the tax benefits of soft mobility for companies.

    It may sound absurd, but in Belgium it is currently not possible to use your mobility budget for scooters or other sustainable means of company transport. They are simply not considered “bicycles” in the eyes of the law. In practice, however, electric scooters are already part of the solution. As an example, consider the My-eScooter scooters from GSK and ALD.

    This is not a sharing scooter

    Talking about the growing importance of mobility budgets for companies is actually kicking in an open door. The integration of personal electric scooters provides an additional alternative to the soft mobility of our companies, far from the shared scooters that roam our cities. The need for sustainable and flexible solutions has never been greater, except for our legislator apparently…

    Urgent: the electric scooter must be considered a “bicycle”.

    A quick refresher: since 2021, Belgian employers can enjoy a number of tax benefits to encourage their staff to make use of soft mobility. All costs specifically incurred for the purpose of promoting this use are 100% deductible as business expenses. The purchase, maintenance costs, helmets, padlocks, safety vests, batteries, leasing costs and even healthcare are all included.

    The elephant in the room:

    The legislator does not (yet) regard the electric scooter as a “bicycle”. Yet this means of transport is the perfect complement to cars and bicycles.
    There is no clear equivalence for VAA, mileage allowance or deductibility. However, electric bicycles and scooters have an electric motor and battery and solve the same problem: soft mobility over short distances.

    “This is absurd when you look at the added value of electric scooters in mobility plans. The proof is the tests carried out in collaboration with GSK and the lease applications with ALD,” underlines Sanjeev D’Souza, founder of the My-eScooter brand.

    Convincing tests at GSK

    At DSK, approximately 9,000 employees have a mobility budget. Patrick Vlasselaer, Mobility Manager, is organizing the promotion of electric scooters for the second consecutive year. “By lending the different My-eScooter models, our employees can test and find the electric scooter that suits their profile, both for commuting and for private activities. Initially, I focused on employees who live within a radius of 7 km from the head office, approximately 300 people. The feedback was very positive, thanks to the quality of the products and the innovative options for safe mobility. In consultation with my colleagues from HR, we hope to also introduce this extra soft mobility alternative in our internal offers.”

    An existing offer at Ayvens (ALD Automotive | LeasePlan)

    The leasing specialist did not wait for the legislator to include electric scooters in the offer for companies, but the fiscal brake is already noticeable. When leasing, Irene Malla, Product Manager, pays close attention to 3 criteria: “The quality of the product, the range of maintenance and the flexibility of the solution. I found this added value at My-eScooter. The portfolio is innovative, there is They also have an after-sales service in Belgium and they offer battery regeneration if necessary. We regret that Belgian legislation is an obstacle for our customers, because the demand is certainly there.”

    About My-eScooter

    My-eScooter is a Belgian company specialized in the production and distribution of innovative electric scooters. Their mission is to encourage alternative and sustainable mobility at work and for personal use. The range of innovative and environmentally friendly products includes electric scooters with replaceable batteries and an exclusive battery regeneration service. As a Belgian company, My-eScooter is the partner of the most important players in the field of mobility. www.my-escooter.com

  2. Pendelfonds subsidizes sustainable commuting in Belgium

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    The commuter fund is now open for applications for projects that improve the connection between public transport and the workplace, and projects that stimulate the use of nearby bicycle highways.

    Commuting must be more sustainable. We still use the car too much to get to work and this without taking one or more colleagues with us. In the near future, the share of private car use in commuting should decrease. The share of bicycles and public transport in commuting must increase.

    The Pendelfonds subsidy has been set up in order to achieve these objectives, among other things. Pendelfonds subsidizes projects that promote sustainable commuting. Projects aimed at reducing the number of car journeys in the field of commuting may be eligible. Companies or other private institutions, but also local or provincial governments or other public institutions (in collaboration with a private partner) can also apply for the subsidy.

    The subsidy amounts to a maximum of half of the costs associated with the project implementation, with a maximum of 200,000 euros when a company submits alone. This maximum amount increases depending on whether the project is submitted by two or more companies: 250,000 euros for 2 companies, 300,000 euros for 3 companies, 350,000 euros for 4, and 400,000 for 5 or more companies. The project duration is a minimum of 2 and a maximum of 4 years.

    On 18 September, the 14th call for Pendelfonds applications was opened and companies and governments can apply to submit a dossier. With this funding, the Flemish government aims to give subsidies to initiatives that make commuting more sustainable. The 14th call is aimed at projects that improve the connection between public transport and the workplace, and at projects that stimulate the use of nearby bicycle highways.

    Companies and organisations that want to submit a project can apply for a filing number from 18 September to 18 October. After that, they have until January 18 to complete the grant application. The more a submitted project falls under the focus of the call, the higher the score of the project, and the more chance of receiving funding.

  3. The French government provides large e-bike subsidies for lower-income households

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    Source: Fietsberaad Crow

    With the goal of boosting bicycle usage from 3% to 9% by 2024, the French government has launched a subsidy scheme for the purchase of e-bikes.

    The highest subsidy amount is available to those with a low income, who can trade in their old diesel car (from before 2011) or petrol car (from before 2006) and gain support in purchasing an electric bicycle instead.

    This allows individuals to receive up to 40% off the purchase price to a maximum of 3000 euros. Those who live or work in environmental zones can benefit from additional aid of up to 1000 euros. In total, it is possible to receive a total conversion bonus of 4000 euros.

    For those with higher incomes, the maximum reimbursement is 1500 euros.
    Anyone who has nothing to trade in may also qualify for a subsidy. 

    Of course, subsidising e-bike purchases is not a wholly new concept. The scheme is more or less mimicking that in Lithuania, where one could receive a subsidy of 1000 euros when returning an old vehicle, an amount that could be used for the purchase of a bicycle or a public transport card.

  4. EU provides €200 million for sustainable and efficient transport and simplifies access to financing for transport projects

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    Together with the European Investment Bank (EIB), the European Commission (EC) has recently launched the new CEF Transport Blending Facility, an innovative financial instrument to support projects contributing to the environmental sustainability and efficiency of the transport sector in Europe.

    With an initial budget of EUR 200 million from the EU budget, the Facility will finance investments in the European Railway Traffic Management System (ERTMS) and in Alternative Fuels infrastructure, leveraging funds from the EIB, National Promotional Banks and private sector. This is in line with the key policy objectives of decarbonisation and digitalisation of EU transport, as well as smart, sustainable, inclusive, safe and secure mobility. Moreover, to foster deployment of mature projects, the EC sets for the first time a ‘Facility’ which will allow applications to financial support on a rolling basis until March 2021.

    EU Commissioner for Transport Violeta Bulc said: “We are further delivering on our agenda for a clean and digital transport system. Today, we are investing 200 million for the development of alternative fuels, as well as for accelerating the deployment of ERTMS, which is a cornerstone for digitalising the rail sector. By its innovative nature, I have no doubt the Facility will facilitate investment and contribute to the modernisation and better efficiency of European transport.

    European Investment Bank (EIB) Vice President Vazil Hudak, responsible for the transport sector, further stated: “We look forward to continuing our collaboration with the European Commission as a potential implementing partner for the Facility. As we move towards the next financial programming period, we see this as an exciting pilot initiative to build on the success of the blending call, to complement CEF and EFSI financial instruments as well as to unlock further investments in the fields of alternative fuel vehicles, infrastructure and ERTMS.

    Trans-European networks and cross-border cooperation are crucial to the functioning of the Single Market. Private operators and national authorities have insufficient incentive to invest in infrastructure projects without EU intervention. Combining EU grants and financing from public banks and private sector (“blending”) allows to mobilise resources to support key EU policy objectives. The new CEF Transport Blending Facility sets a clear frame for the realisation of such operations.

    Close cooperation has been set up with the EIB, which intends to become a key implementing partner of the CEF Transport Blending Facility. A number of National Promotional Banks already signalled their potential interest to join the scheme. The CEF Transport Blending Facility serves as a pilot for the next financial period.

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