State to support purchase of up to 1000 electric bicycles
It’s not clear yet how the subsidies will be rolled out, but according to a dispatch published by the ministry of environment and energy transition the State is prepared to subsidise the purchase of up to 1000 electric bicycles.
The plan, presented within the 2019 State Budget, is to reinforce the position of bicycles as an alternative form of transport for many citizens.
Electric cars and other vehicles with low-emissions are already supported by subsidies available from the Environmental Fund. This is what impelled various freewheeling organisations to argue that electric bikes should be also.
Mubi, the association for urban bike mobility, Abimota, the national association of two-wheel industries, Portugal’s cycling federation and eco-association ZERO raised concerns that while 3000 electric bikes were sold in Portugal in 2016, they represented less than 1% of total bike sales.
On a European level, sales of electric bicycles represent more than 8% of total bike sales. And electric bikes, say all four entities, “allow for long-distance travel, make natural obstacles easier, allow for the transport of shopping or other loads, and open the use of a bicycle up to new groups of the population”.
If marketed successfully, electric bikes “have great potential for substituting trips by car”.
Mubi, particularly, hopes the ‘door opening to subsidies’ will see further financial incentive programmes in the future.