E-Bike Webinar Fostering Push for Financial Incentives

Melbourne, Victoria

An e-bike incentives webinar being held by WeRide Austrailia next month is aiming to foster a community groundswell for financial assistance programs in this country.

Registrations are open for the Creating Change Through E-Bike Incentives webinar, being held on Tuesday 4th April from 10-11am and featuring e-bike incentives experts from the US, UK and Australia.

Cycling UK’s deputy director of behaviour change, Jenny Box, and Portand State University academic Cameron Bennett will be among the speakers in the webinar, which is open to industry members, government officials, bicycle lobbyists and other interested people.

They will be joined by the co-founder of one of the world’s biggest e-bike subscription services, Ben Carr from Melbourne-based business Lug+Carrie, and World Bank sustainable transport analyst Sam Johnson, who will facilitate the forum.

The webinar will give participants a better understanding of how e-bike subsidies and other incentives are getting more people riding e-bikes around the world, according to WeRide Australia executive officer Peter Bourke.

At the same time, it will equip lobbyists and other interested people with the tools to take the campaign to their local politicians.

“It will inform people on international best practice and show how incentives work around the world. And when we say around the world, we’re not talking about the Netherlands, we’re talking about the UK and America,” he said.

“These are countries where common perception suggests no one rides a bike but where these schemes are obviously working.”

He said the UK Government’s Cycle to Work program got an extra 350,000 bikes on UK streets each year.

“If you do a direct population comparison, that would equate to 100,000 Australians signing up for assistance to buy a bicycle every year,” Peter said.

“And the Cycle to Work program gave governments licence to invest in infrastructure because they saw so many people were signing up.”

He said Jenny also worked as a cycling projects advisor for the UK Department for Transport until mid-2022, so she has plenty of experience on how cycling programs have boosted riding levels in that country.

Similarly, Cameron is a leading authority on the hundreds of bicycle incentive programs operating in the US.

Sam, in his role with the World Bank, has seen the impact incentives can have on whole cities and communities in third world countries.

The Sydney resident believes incentives could achieve similar results in his own backyard.

Portrait of Jenny Box
Cycling UK’s deputy director of behaviour change, Jenny Box.

Direct Incentives and Tax Concessions

Peter said WeRide is pushing for both direct financial incentives and tax concessions to encourage Australian to buy e-bikes and non-assist bicycles.

“Direct incentives are generally the easiest to administer and roll out rapidly for fast wins and they’re the easiest and quickest to evaluate,” he said.

“They can be a single pool of funds and government can see a maximum of how much is going to be paid out.

“Tax changes take longer and are harder to create but international examples demonstrate they have increased long-term benefits.

“They require a change of legislation and once they’re in place they can be harder to wind back.”

You can register for the webinar here.

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