Pic copyright Phil Tragen 2020

Government set to introduce e-bike subsidy scheme

The Government is reportedly planning to introduce a scheme next spring to subsidise the purchase of electric bikes.

The scheme is expected to bring consumers savings of about a third of the retail price of an e-bike, although the Government is yet to reveal full details.

Trials will begin in the next five months before the full package is rolled out in spring 2021, according to a report in The Times.

Pankaj M Munjal, chairman and managing director of Hero Motors Company, which owns Insync, welcomed the scheme.  He said: “Insync has been completely behind the Government’s ‘golden age of cycling’ plan since it was announced early in the pandemic, and this e-bikes announcement is another welcome addition to that programme.

“E-bikes open up cycling to a much wider audience, allowing people who do not have the fitness levels to ride a traditional bike to enjoy the benefits of cycling. Equally, the assistance given by electric power can mean a commuter arrives at their workplace fresh and ready for the day ahead, with the knowledge that they will have the energy to ride home at the end of the day.

“We have seen the growing popularity of e-bikes through the response to our Lectro range, launched earlier this year, with sales exceeding expectations right through lockdown and beyond. In recognition of this, we are already planning to take a significant share of the e-bikes market in 2021 as we recognise this is the future of cycling for so many people. We look forward to seeing even more riders enjoy cycling thanks to the government’s subsidy scheme and acknowledge that Insync has an important part to play in the success of this.”

Tom McPhail, director of public affairs at Pure Electric said: “It’s fantastic that the government is following through on its commitment to support electric bike use. E-bikes will play a major role in transforming travel in Britain. They’re the perfect combination of convenience, cost, environmental responsibility and health benefits – fast forward ten years and five million homes in the UK will be regularly using an e-bike.

“Unfortunately, in the short term, this announcement is going to cause problems. People will read this news and they may hold off buying an e-bike to wait for the subsidy. This could put smaller bike retailers under pressure in the months to come, while it also overlooks the fact that by next spring, the world will be running out of e-bikes, again.

We saw major e-bike stock shortages at the end of the summer as stock levels ran down; some factories are running 24/7 to catch up and we still expect supplies will come under pressure again next year. Anyone thinking of buying an e-bike may do well to do so now to beat the expected rush.

“In the meantime, the Government now needs to confirm that any e-bike purchases from today will be able to apply retrospectively for the subsidy when it is introduced next year.”

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