The States promotion to get Islanders to consider e-bikes for their travel needs has been so popular that the scheme has already used up its funding for 2016 – just 29 days after launching.
The car2cycle discount scheme offered Islanders a £300 grant toward the purchase of an e-bike and yesterday the Department of Infrastructure said 200 people have already taken up the offer. “We’re so pleased and surprised it has proven so popular so quickly,” Minister Eddie Noel told Bailiwick Express.
He said £50,000 a year for three years was allocated to the scheme in the hopes of adding 500 e-bikes – and reciprocally reducing car traffic – to the Island’s roads.
With the 2016 funds exhausted, DfI is moving forward dedicated funds for 2017 and has amended the terms slightly in the hopes of getting even more e-bikes on the road.
“To make it go further, we have tweaked it,” the Minister said.
From tomorrow, the grant will be amended to subsidise 20 percent of the bike’s value to a maximum of £300 – meaning only those buying e-bikes costing over £1,500 would receive the maximum discount.
Car2cycle supports the aims of the States of Jersey Sustainable Transport Policy by making electric bikes more attractive and affordable. With zero emissions, the bikes are more sustainable and they accrue no parking fees or petrol costs.
Minister Noel said the bikes are more than capable of tackling the Island’s hills and are welcome in all shared areas whether cycle path or road.
“I have spoken to people who are selling one of their cars and buying electric bikes to commute to work,” Mr Noel said. “This is exactly what this scheme is trying to encourage.”
The e-bikes range in cost from roughly £900 up to £3-4,000.
While the price point may see high, yesterday Aaron Lappage of Aaron’s Bikes, one of the retailers participating in the scheme, said they should be viewed more as a vehicle than a bike.
“You should look at it as a vehicle,” he said. “It’s a mode of transport that will be used far more than a bicycle. People who are buying them are riding them a lot. You zip along nice and easy when you’re tired but you can get a workout on them too.”
To participate in the scheme, you must complete an application form and take this along with photo identification and proof of address to Sand Street Parking Control or Driver and Vehicle Standards (DVS). Upon receipt of an approved application form, there is four weeks to redeem the discount at participating retailers.
Applications forms are available from participating retailers and online: www.gov.je/greenertravel.
To qualify for the scheme, you must be at least 14 years of age.
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