Climbing Cost of Living Makes e-Bike Subsidies More Attractive

Canberra, ACT

Government incentives to get more people riding e-bikes would return up to $3 for every $1 invested, according to figures released last week by We Ride Australia to coincide with last week’s Active Transport Mobility Summit in Sydney.

The figures, based on data released by NSW Treasury and modelled by the independent Institute for Sensible Transport, identify the direct financial return of incentives that encourage uptake of e-bikes.

An accompanying statement by We Ride Australia suggested rising costs of living, including escalating transport expenses, would make any incentives more attractive and more effective in delivering returns.

We Ride Australia executive officer Peter Bourke said the increasing cost of transport is headlining cost of living pressures facing governments and their constituents across the country.

“It is a critical time for families as they struggle with transport and living costs in general,” Peter said.

“The pandemic showed how willing Australians are to embrace walking and cycling for their short local trips and e-bikes are the great leveller that can get us all mobile easily, quickly and enjoyably.

“Our modelling shows how effective an incentive would be for Australians who would like to take their kids to school, ride to the local shops or ride to work and we urge the Minister for Transport and the Treasurer to consider incentivising this healthy, convenient form of transport.”

We Ride says the new data strongly supports a 2022 Federal election call for a purchase incentive, in a campaign by the Australasian Society of Physical Activity, We Ride and more than 35 national organisations and nearly 100 experts.

An incentive was one of three “evidence-based transport priorities” raised by the campaign to reduce congestion, reduce crashes and increase physical activity.

“A financial incentive for e-bikes is one transport investment that really pays off for health, transport and our local streets,” Peter said.

The modelling was released on the same day the NSW Minister for Cities and Active Transport, Rob Stokes, hosted the Active Transport Mobility Summit.

An e-Bike Subsidies for Australians report, produced for We Ride Australia by the Institute for Sensible Transport last November, says an estimated investment of around $34 million by government could, given increased demand as a result of COVID, general an extra 17,960 e-bike sales and develop benefits totalling $71.4 million during the life of the bikes.

You can see the full report here.

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