The Bicycle Association have launched two reports that suggests the UK government should be promoting electric bikes instead of prioritising the subsidy of electric car purchases, because e-bikes are "better value, more equitable and healthier".
At the All Party Parliamentary Cycling Group meeting yesterday, The Bicycle Association claimed that e-bike incentives could be twice as effective as grants for electric cars, and said the government should be backing them heavily alongside other electric vehicles - a parliamentary debate took place today on ‘Government support for Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plans'.
The Bicycle Association say the UK is "falling behind" other nations when it comes to green transport because it is failing to promote the use of e-bikes, and doing so could achieve change more quickly - although e-bike usage is rising with 60,000 sold in the UK last year, it pales into insignificance compared to Germany and the Netherlands, with over 1 million and 400,00 e-bikes sold in those countries respectively in 2018.
There were a million ebikes sold in Germany in 2018 and more than 400,000 ebikes sold in the Netherlands pic.twitter.com/dULsVhUqU4— APPCG (@allpartycycling) July 8, 2019
Research has shown that the cost of saving a kilogram of CO2 via e-bikes promotion schemes costs less than half that of existing grants for electric cars such as Teslas. The BA say that "electric vehicles will play a key role in decarbonising all forms of transport, but e-bikes should be a top priority for urgent Government support."
They quote further evidence that found around half of all trips by e-bike replace a trip that would have been made by car. Unlike electric cars that still take up plenty of space on the roads, e-bikes tackle pollution as well as congestion. Chris Boardman, Manchester's Cycling and Walking Commissioner, said: "I can see the huge potential of e-bikes, they are the perfect tool to entice many people, who don’t want to be a cyclist, out of the car. I whole heartedly support any measures that make that choice easier and I am very keen that Greater Manchester becomes the first Demo Region to pilot measures to give people this viable alternative to driving. I will work with both the industry and government to explore how we make that happen as quickly as possible.”
You can read the Bicycle Association's full report on incentives for e-bikes here.