Is it really an incentive to leave your car in the garage?

The State increases the maximum limit of its aid for the purchase of an electrically assisted bicycle. The maximum bonus is increased to 400 euros for low-income people. Aid that can be combined with that of local authorities. But are these measures really effective in reducing car traffic?

Are you thinking about buying an electrically assisted bicycle (VAE) but it costs a lot? Going into effect on August 15, a new impulse from the State may allow it to take the plunge.

The amount of aid increases from 200 euros to 300 euros for people with unitary tax income of less than 13,489 euros, and up to 400 euros for people with tax incomes of less than or equal to 6,300 euros, as well as for people with a disability.

A significant help considering the average price of a VAE: count around 1,500 euros for a new bike with good quality equipment.

The diagram below released by the Ministry of Ecological Transition details the conditions for granting government aid.

Many communities already offer assistance to acquire these means of smooth mobility. Since March 2022, the Grand Est region has awarded 200 euros to new buyers, with no resource conditions (see terms and conditions here). But this help is limited to a maximum of 10,000 requests.

Considered the French capital of two wheels, the Eurometropolis of Strasbourg has also started its own system (details click here). Since 2021, it grants €150 for the motorization of a classic bicycle and between €300 and €500 for the purchase of a VAE or an electrically assisted cargo bike, depending on your income.

In the space of 18 months, more than 3,000 requests have already been filed. The introduction of long-term rental systems and the forthcoming creation of a ZFE (low emission zone) undoubtedly contribute to the growing success of these new generation modes of transport. “The electrically-assisted bicycle makes it possible to travel longer distances and reach audiences that until then did not use the bicycle, such as the elderly or the less sporty.notes Alain Jund, vice president of the community council responsible for mobility. We observed that its daily use has increased significantly: many already use it to go to work, for example. We can clearly see it becoming a real alternative to the car.”

The electrically assisted bicycle is a real tool for transforming cities.

Alain Jund

Vice-President of the Eurometropolis of Strasbourg, responsible for mobility

A statement from Eurometrópolis confirmed by studies by Ademe, the environment and energy agency. This reveals that 63% of purchase aid recipients say they have reduced car use. In 2015, he observed that for fifteen beneficiaries of the purchase aid, one car was removed from the circulation network.

But helping people equip themselves is not enough to encourage the practice if the necessary infrastructure is lacking. In this sense, the Eurometropolis provided an envelope of 100 million euros for the adaptation of the cycling networks, that is, 125 kilometers of dedicated lanes, and the necessary engineering structures (crossing channels or SNCF lanes). “We are also actively considering the issue of securing bike parking, because not knowing where to store your VAE can put off potential buyers. And not everyone has the opportunity to have a garage”adds Alain Jund.

And owning a bike doesn’t necessarily mean using it. Hence the reservations expressed by FUB, the federation of bicycle users: “it is good to help people buy their means of transport. But for smooth mobility to gain an advantage, we have to completely rethink our way of life and our cities: limiting the speed, eliminating traffic, restoring local services and businesses so that everything can be done everywhere on a daily basis by bicycle, suggests Thibault Quéré, head of advocacy within the user federation. , for example.

When a Frenchman travels an average of 100 kilometers by bicycle a year, a Spaniard travels 1,000.

Thibault Quéré

FUB (federation of bicycle users)

The new impetus of the State will allow the Strasbourg community to rethink its support plan. “Undoubtedly, we will refocus to provide more specific assistance to people most financially in need.announce the chosen one. Because for many, the high price of these vehicles remains the main obstacle to purchase.

Be careful, however, the help part is limited: the maximum bonus is 1,000 euros. It is increased to 2,000 euros for people with disabilities who wish to purchase a cargo bike, a folding bike or an electric bicycle trailer. The total amount of aid received must not exceed 40% of the purchase price. Also note that you have until December 31 to benefit from the aid released by the State.

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