France is hoping to help reduce its emissions through a new scheme which will see residents in the country offered financial incentives to swap out their car for an electric bike.
The scheme would encourage French residents to replace their car with an e-bike by offering €2,500 Euro credit in return, which can then be used to purchase an e-bike or folding bike. The measure was recently approved by French lawmakers in a preliminary vote in the National Assembly and is an amendment to a draft climate bill currently passing through parliament aimed at reducing greenhouse emissions to 40% less than 1990 levels by 2030.
“For the first time it is recognised that the solution is not to make cars greener, but simply to reduce their number.”Olivier Schneider, French Federation of Bicycle Users (FUB)
The French Federation of Bicycle Users (FUB) said if the scheme is adopted, France will become the first country in the world to offer this kind of trade in, where people can swap their old vehicle for an electric or folding bicycle. Olivier Schneider of FUB stated, “For the first time it is recognised that the solution is not to make cars greener, but simply to reduce their number.”
Elsewhere in Europe e-bikes are quickly gaining popularity however their prices are still high, meaning many are put off or simply can’t afford one. Other countries on the continent such as Germany, Norway and Sweden have seen an increase in the eco-friendly mode of transport, greatly helped by ideas similar to France’s new incentive, such as government rebates, which they have introduced. The advantages are clear and accessibility is key, so we will see if other countries follow their lead.