Finns buying an electric bicycle could soon be entitled to a 400-euro incentive, reveals the Ministry of Transport and Communications.
The Finnish government is proposing that a total of 16.3 million euros – a budget sufficient for a total of 40,615 electric bicycles – be earmarked for the incentive programme between 1 July, 2018, and 31 December, 2021.
The incentive could also be claimed retrospectively for new electric bicycles purchased no earlier than on 1 April, 2018, according to a press release from the Ministry of Transport and Communications.
It would be granted by the Finnish Transport Safety Agency (Trafi).
The purchase incentive is one of several measures proposed in an action plan for the promotion of walking and cycling that is scheduled for publication on Friday, 23 March. The government has adopted a nationwide objective of increasing the share of journeys undertaken on foot or by bicycle by 30 per cent by 2030.
The Ministry of Transport and Communications calls in its press release attention to studies indicating that electric cycling tends to lengthen journeys made by bicycle and reduce the number of journeys made by car.
The proposal was rejected as idiotic by Juhana Brotherus, the chief economist at the Mortgage Society of Finland (Hypo).
“I’m a cycling enthusiast myself, but the use of common sense is advised. Let’s rather try getting rid of ineffective subsidies [such as] corporate, agricultural and electric vehicle subsidies,” he wrote on Twitter on Monday.
“The subsidies for car purchases are an expensive way to reach the objective. Let’s not make the same mistake with electric bicycles,” he reasoned.
Brotherus pointed out that the proposed incentive for electric bicycles is unusually large in light of the fact that electric bicycles are ultimately consumer products. The incentive, he warned, will also throw the otherwise market-based bicycle trade into a state of confusion and lead to a sharp decline in regular bicycle sales.
“The government’s proposal for an incentive for electric bicycle purchases is worse that I could’ve imagined. As electric bicycles are available for less than 400 euros, everyone should grab a free bicycle – the government is paying. Lovely, after the cuts in education,” he exclaimed.
Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Photo: Vesa Moilanen – Lehtikuva
Source: Uusi Suomi