Electric bike grants sweep Europe

electric bicycle grants, Madsen cargo bike

In a bid to improve air quality so poor that temporary bans have been imposed on diesel vehicles, folk in Oslo are being offered grants of up to £1,100 towards the cost of an electric cargo bike.

On top of the electric bike grants, the country is spending over £800m on bike infrastructure in a bid to encourage drivers out of their cars. In a similar vein, France has recently announced a new 200 Euro grant open to all those buying an electric bicycle.

Levels of air pollution here in Britain are no lower, but by contrast, electric bikes here continue to be excluded from the government’s plug-in grant, which offers up to £5,000 towards the price of an electric car.

electric bike grants

Not a new sight in Britain, but little prospect of them being subsidised

Government electric vehicle programmes and incentives routinely exclude those defined as quadricycles, owing to their lighter weight and lower power output, and electric bicycles. In terms of the environmental agenda, this is a nonsensical distinction to be making.

Government policy on electric cars appears back to front – there should be more emphasis on affordable and practicable technology that is available today.

Despite numerous calls for the plug-in grant to include electric bicycles, it continues to apply only to cars. Perhaps it would help if more of us were aware of the dangers posed by air pollution.

Friends of the Earth has this week released the results of a survey that suggests many people – particularly those outside London – are still unaware of the dangers of air pollution.

“With only 1 in 10 British adults rating their air quality as poor despite swaths of the country breaking legal limits for air pollution, it seems the message about the scale and danger of air pollution isn’t getting through. Often you can’t see it or smell it, but it’s there – and air pollution is risking the health of an entire generation of children” said Oliver Hayes, a Friends of the Earth air pollution campaigner.

Cycle insurance for electric bicycles

Cycle insurance from the ETA covers electric bicycles as standard and includes a breakdown service for your bike and you that will take you up to 25 miles if you suffer a mechanical problem or puncture. Furthermore, your battery is covered against theft as standard. ETA cycle insurance has a low standard excess of 5% (minimum £25) and prides itself on a genuine new-for-old policy. Unlike other providers who devalue bikes, however old your bicycle, if it’s stolen you get enough to buy a new model.

Every cycle insurance policy you buy helps support the work of the ETA Trust, our charity campaigning for a cleaner, safer transport future.


  1. Simon Bailey, Researcher, Ultra Light Vehicles


    Electric bikes:
    Pedelecs (EAPCs) are eligible for the Cycle to Work Scheme, which enables a saving of 25% or more. See https://www.cyclescheme.co.uk/community/round-ups/round-up-best-e-bikes-for-cycling-to-work. There are also several electric bike hire schemes starting up around Britain, see http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-hampshire-34396502.

    Electric motor vehicles:
    Whilst the UK government supports the purchase of electric cars (which are heavy and overpowered for many applications) and introduced a motorbike grant in October 2016, there remains no support for the purchase of light electric vehicles (three-wheelers, quadricycles). By contrast, since January 2017 France provides up to €1,000 towards any motorbike or three-wheeler or quadricycle which is powered by lithium batteries. Meanwhile, Belgium leads the way by supporting only light electric vehicles (and no subsidy for electric cars), which is most logical for tackling environmental problems and traffic congestion, as well as electricity consumption.

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