People who want to buy an electric bike simply have to trade in their current car and receive a “rabla” voucher to use towards the purchase of an electric bike.
By comparison, the rabla voucher obtained when a car is scrapped in Romania is less than 2000 euro for the purchase of another combustion vehicle, or up to 10000 euro for the purchase of a fully electric car. However, there is nothing about the purchase of electric bicycles, a subject which is treated by the authorities with much the same priority as the development of dedicated bicycle paths.
Compared to the use of a personal car, even with EV equipment, the electric bicycle is by far the closest solution to the zero-cost ideal. Practically, even the most inefficient electric bicycle can cover about 100km with a consumption of only 1 KWhr, consumption up to 20 times lower than an electrically powered car.
The French authorities seem to be of the same opinion, and are now thinking of making use of the existing infrastructure of bicycle paths, actively supporting the replacement of private cars by bicycles. And the €4000 budget, in the form of a deduction from the price of future electric bikes, opens up some very interesting options. Basically, you can swap your rusty clunker for an almost luxury electric bike. And if you really want to get sporty, you can also buy a traditional non-electric bike, under the same generous budget limit.
The subsidy first introduced in countries such as the Netherlands, Denmark and Germany was increased after a study commissioned by French authorities concluded that the plan really works, with reductions in pollution footprint and energy waste far outweighing the transition to an EV-powered car. According to current estimates, up to 9% of owners of combustion-powered cars could opt for an electric bike by 2024. By comparison, only 3% of bike owners in France use electric models, compared to 27% in the Netherlands.
The policy is modelled on another highly successful scheme in Lithuania , where citizens qualify for a subsidy of up to €1,000 when buying a new electric bicycle, scooter, moped, motorbike or even public transport credit, simply by giving up their previously owned combustion car.