Reader Question: If I buy an electric bike in France, will I be able to access any state financial assistance to contribute to the cost?
The French government has adopted a series of measures aimed at encouraging people to buy electric bikes (vélos à assistance électrique or VAE) and cargo bikes, under the loi Climat which came into effect last year.
These include an extension of the existing prime à la conversion to electric and cargo bikes and a bonus vélo for the latter.
Prime à la conversion
The prime à la conversion grant, which is otherwise available for people wishing to change their cars or vans for more eco-friendly models, has now been extended to bikes.
People who wish to exchange or scrap their less energy efficient car or van – which are normally older, more polluting models – for an electric or cargo bike can receive up to €1,500 from the government.
The total sum is, however, limited to 40% of the purchase price.
This can be done by visiting this ecological transition ministry website, logging in through France Connect and making a claim using the receipts or invoices linked to your purchase.
In order to benefit you must be over 18 and resident in France.
To qualify, electric bikes must have pedal assist, carry an identification number and must not use a lead battery. Their owners cannot sell them or give them away in the year after they bought them.
Electric bike purchases can also be eligible for a bonus écologique payment of up to €200 for people who have benefited from a similar scheme offered by their local authority.
People who purchase an e-bike may already be eligible for a bonus vélo, but this has now also been extended to cargo bikes.
Anyone buying a bike adapted for people with disabilities or with a trailer could receive up to €1,000 towards the cost.
The total sum granted will be equal to 40% of the cost of the bike.
To qualify, bikes must be “adapted to allow for the transportation of people or goods behind or in front of the rider, or to respond to the needs of a disabled person,” so they do not need to be electric themselves.
However, the purchase of the bike must have taken place between July 26, 2021 and December 31, 2022.
Claimants must also be over 18, resident in France and with a revenu fiscal de référence net taxable income of €13,489 or less.
The bike itself must be new, must not have a lead battery if it does have pedal assist, and cannot be sold or passed on in the year after the purchaser buys it.
Business and public bodies are also eligible for the bonus.