Oslo handing citizens $1,200 for electric cargo bike purchases

In a bid to improve its already excellent reputation as a city investing in cycling for transport, Oslo has begun handing out $1,200 credits to be spent on electric cargo bikes.

The scheme, which will have local bike dealers adjusting their window displays, is designed to remove cars from the road at a time when air pollution is worsening. The credit, while unlikely to buy the bike outright, should cover around 25% of the cost of a typical assisted cargo bike.

The investment is strategic, with the subsidy seen as a cheaper alternative to installing expensive ‘bike elevators’ to assist riders up hills.

It is however also limited. The budget set aside for the subsidy scheme will stretch to no more than 1,000 grants, according to City Lab. The hope is that adding numbers to the street will popularise the transport mode.

Oslo has committed some serious funding to its cycle commuting ambitions, targeting a 16 percent modal share for bicycles by 2025. It is backing that ambition with a Kr13.8 billion (over $2 billion or £1.41 billion) investment in infrastructure – some 510 kilometres of it.