France plans subsidy for packages delivered by cargo bike

The French Ministry of Ecologial Transition has announced plans to create a subsidy for packages delivered by cargo bike.

The proposals, which could become active by June of this year, are set to provide up to two euros per package for the first 500,000 in the inaugural year, then up to €1.30 for 1.5 million packages in year 2, and €0.6 for 3 million packages in the third year. These funds will be paid to those providing the delivery service.

Funded by France’s CEE energy saving certificates scheme, the subsidy will support the shift away from van-based delivery toward cargo bikes with the three year financial assistance. Thus far, four test cities are to enjoy the benefit; Angers Loire; Greater Reims; Paris-Est-Marne et Bois and the Grenoble-Alpes.

The reasoning behind the incentive is linked to emissions and public health, as well as efficiency, with the Ministry’s page writing that a 1,500 litre cargo bike will emit 85% less co2 than a vehicle with the same capacity. The plan comes on the back of European directives that compell EU states to begin cutting emissions. France’s low-carbon strategy seeks to cut 28% of greenhouse gas emissions from transport by 2030 compared to 2015. Meanwhile, a national active mobility plan hopes to triple cycling’s modal share by 2024.

Furthermore, it is calculated that, for Paris, the transport of goods currently makes up between 15 to 20% of traffic, but is responsible for 45% of the fine particle emissions.

The cargo bike sector has already enjoyed a steep growth trajectory with the country recording a 354% growth in sales during 2020.

Furthering the scope for growth, this year as part of the Climate & Resilience bill France hopes to pass subsidy for the purchase of cargo bikes, electric or manual, for professionals. On top of this a proposed strengthening of incentives to drop the car in favour of two wheels.

As it stands, 90% of France’s deliveries are attributed to large delivery firms, such as La Poste Group, which has laid out plans to deliver parcels using ‘cyclomobility’ solutions in France’s 40 largest towns.

Since 2017 the ministry outlines that France’s cycling network has grown by an estimated 30%, or 10,000 kilometres. Alongside this, new and renovated trains must carry at least eight cycle spaces, or five for long-distance networks. France also pioneered the since mirrored bike repair voucher scheme, repairing nearly 2 million cycles thus far with its Bike Helping Hand scheme.