France to increase financial aids for electric bike purchases

The basic funding for a standard vélo à assistance électrique will increase by around €100, providing the owner meets the eligibility criteria

It should soon become easier to buy an electric bike in France, as Parliament votes through a bill aimed at improving public access to grants from August 15.

People wishing to buy an e-bike (vélo à assistance électrique or VAE) are already able to apply for a Bonus Vélo de l’État (state bike bonus) of up to €200 if their revenu fiscal de référence (taxable income) is less than or equal to €13,489 per household ‘part’ (unit).

You can find out more about this criterion on the government website.

From August 15, this sum will increase to a maximum of €300, but will vary depending on the income of the applicant.

For the lowest-income households and people with disabilities, the aid can increase to €400.

If you are hoping to buy an electric cargo bike – with a rack or storage case, for example – the government grant could reach €2,000, as opposed to €1,000 currently.

However, this funding is capped at 40% of the original price of the bike.

In addition, people wishing to access grants will no longer have to have their government funding matched by a grant from their local authority, a process which has caused issues for some in the past.

What are the eligibility criteria for a Bonus Vélo?

In order to qualify for the Bonus Vélo, the bike must:

  • Not be second hand

  • Not be powered by a lead-acid battery

  • Have a pedal assist function

You must keep the bike for at least a year after you buy it. In addition, you can only access the funding once.

People hoping to benefit from the new funding thresholds must buy their bike before December 31, 2022.

Primes à la conversion

The government is also set to make it easier to access primes à la conversion for people wishing to exchange their vehicle for an e-bike.

Previously, it was only possible to obtain one prime per household, but now each person in the household hoping to swap their vehicle for a bike will be able to access a grant.

The funding available for this will also increase from €1,500 to €3,000.

The changes come as a result of the projet de loi de finance rectificative budget amendment, which includes €5million for the promotion of e-bikes.

Details on the application of the new e-bike grant rules will be outlined in due course.

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