Here is a ministerial decree that will delight more than one fan of light and non-polluting mobility: the little queen - electric - is awarded an "ecological bonus" of 200 € for every purchase of an electrically assisted bicycle (EAB). A gesture welcomed by seven organisations in particular (1) who welcome the announcement by Environment Minister Ségolène Royal.
Even if this measure is not very innovative, as it has already been successfully implemented in some communities, it was expected to apply to the entire national territory. It marks an important step in the recognition of the bicycle as a mode of transport in its own right and as a sustainable mobility solution..
L’State now grants a 200€ subsidy for the purchase of an electrically assisted bicycle. The decree instituting this measure, entered into force on Monday 20 February. All purchasers will be able to benefit from it, on presentation of their invoice, for purchases made from 19 February until 31 January 2018. It should be noted that this aid cannot be cumulated with any aid already granted by certain Member States. local authorities. It will be paid once to each buyer, not for each purchase.
A measure to promote "electric mobility" for a "revolution in electric transport" dear to the Minister of the Environment, given that more EAB is sold each year than the previous year: 100,000 sales in 2016, according to the Club des villes et territoires cyclables.
The electrically assisted bicycle, a solution for pollution, climate, travel and health
Electrically assisted bicycles (EAB) reduce air pollution compared to motorized two-wheelers and cars, while alleviating the strain and over-ventilation of fragile cyclists. It is also a solution for the necessary reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from transport, particularly in peri-urban or rural areas where public transport solutions are less developed. Indeed, half of the users of electric-assisted bicycles who have already benefited from local aid for the purchase of an EAB have made this choice as a replacement for the car, according to the Ademe study on the benefits of bicycle services. (2). Remember that about half of all car trips are less than 3 km long and most of them could be done otherwise.
The decree published in the OJ on 18 February 2017 marks the adoption of this measure, under encouraging conditions (20 % of the purchase price, capped at 200 euros). This measure will enable many French people to have access to clean, sustainable mobility, while strengthening a booming industrial sector that creates local jobs. It will also help to combat the scourge of the sedentary lifestyle of the French.
The Climate Action Network, the Federation of Transport Users (Fnaut) and the Federation of Bicycle Users (FUB), bringing together 230 local associations, had been calling for months for "electric" aid to be extended to bicycles. These associations are hoping for a shift from journeys currently made by polluting vehicles (cars or scooters) to the active mode that is the bicycle.
This measure must therefore be part of a proactive cycling policy, starting with the full deployment of measures already partially implemented, such as the bicycle kilometric allowance. To effectively encourage home-to-work trips by bicycle (3)It must be mandatory in both the public and private sectors, and can be combined with the reimbursement of 50% of the public transit pass. The associations hope that its tax exemption ceiling, currently limited to 200 euros, will be more generous, while also hoping that the new bonus will soon be extended to other utilitarian uses such as cargo and folding bicycles.
Towards a national policy in favour of walking and cycling?
In a joint communiqué, the Climate Action France network, together with six other national structures, calls for the implementation of a genuine national strategy for the development of active mobility (walking and cycling). To make its commitment credible, the State must therefore set up a dedicated national fund, allowing :
- to support investment by local authorities through calls for "pilot city" projects, particularly for medium-sized towns and cities
- to absorb urban and other interruptions of continuity
- to finance national positive communication campaigns in favour of active mobility
- to generalise the learning of mobility by bicycle, before leaving primary school
- to finalise the network of cycle routes of national interest by 2030 (and the main routes - Eurovélo - by 2022).
With the establishment of a national cycling fund, France would thus be the first country to respond to the United Nations' call to devote at least 20% of the transport budget to active mobility (walking and cycling). The international organisation makes this a condition for achieving climate objectives, but also a requirement for public health and improving air quality. (4).
(Source: Climate Action Network France - February 20, 2017)
(1) The French Federation of Bicycle Users (FUB), Climate Action Network, France Nature Environnement, Fondation Nicolas Hulot pour la Nature et l'Homme, FNAUT, WWF and the Association Respire.
(2) Ademe, Etude d'évaluation sur les services vélos, 2016 http://www.ademe.fr/etude-devaluation-services-velos
(3) According to the INSEE survey, only 2% of home-to-work trips were made by bicycle in France in 2015. https://www.insee.fr/fr/statistiques/2555446
(4) UNEP report entitled "Global Perspectives on Walking and Cycling", published in October 2016.