The Cycle to Work Alliance is to today call on government to update the Cycle to Work Scheme to make electric bikes more accessible through the initiative.
The Alliance – formed of four providers of the scheme – is calling for the existing £1,000 scheme limit for bikes and equipment to be lifted to £2,500 for electric bikes. The Alliance will later today attend a meet with the All Party Parliamentary Cycling Group and representatives of the e-Bike business to discuss further measures to stimulate uptake.
The scheme, which has had its ups and downs of late, has historically proven a popular mechanism for achieving behaviour change and enabling people to regularly commute to work by bike. Expanding the scheme to make it easier to access electric bikes up to mid-market pricepoints would make commuting over longer distances easier, spread the cost of the bike across a twelve-month period, and maximise the health and wellbeing benefits of commuting by bike. It would also very likely give dealer partners a much-welcomed shot in the arm with a sales boost.
The current cost of a good quality commuter electric bike is often beyond the reach of those who would benefit the most, including those with disabilities, older workers, and those with lower incomes. The current scheme limit restricts access to the full range of electric bikes through the initiative.
The Alliance’s intervention follows comments from the Cycling Minister Jesse Norman last year that the Department for Transport was considering how uptake of electric bikes could be encouraged, including considering the role of subsidies. TfL has recently outlined a vision to drive progress in the capital with a dedicated portal for e-Bike promotion, as well as a range of initiatives.
Steve Edgell, Chair of the Cycle to Work Alliance, said: “The Cycle to Work Scheme has already helped over half a million people commute to work by bike. We now want to build on this success and futureproof the scheme by opening it up much more widely for electric bikes.
“The benefits of electric bikes are clear, in particular for those demographic groups who may not currently feel confident about cycling and for those who live further away from work. The scheme is the simplest and most effective mechanism for making electric bikes affordable and accessible.
“A good quality electric bike suitable for commuting regularly remains at a relatively high price point, above the £1,000 scheme limit. We’re keen to continue working with the Department for Transport and the Treasury to make the case that the scheme is the most effective mechanism to encourage electric bikes.”
Ruth Cadbury MP, Co-Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Cycling Group, added: “Electric bikes are a great opportunity to get more people cycling, and particularly those who wouldn’t otherwise cycle.
The government needs to consider ways it can help people access electric bikes, and the Cycle to Work Scheme could be one method of achieving this.”
Andrew Selous MP, Co-Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Cycling Group, said:
“There is a clear opportunity for electric bikes to increase participation in cycling, and it is important that government and industry work together to ensure people can access good quality electric bikes.
“There are a number of ways this can be achieved, either through community loan schemes or through the Cycle to Work Scheme, that should be given further thought”.
Attendees will later hear from Ruth Cadbury MP, Co-Chair of the APPCG; Steve Edgell, Chair of the Cycle to Work Alliance; Will Butler Adams, Managing Director of Brompton; and Laura Dyett, Behavioural Insights Team at Transport for London.
Parliamentarians and other guests will then be given the opportunity to test an electric bike for themselves, with a range of commuter standard electric bikes available.