France Offering $3,000 Vouchers for E-Bikes If You Throw Away Your Car

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky
france offering 3 000 vouchers for e bikes if you throw away your car

France is offering 2,500 euros (about $2,993 USD) to individuals interested in purchasing electrically driven bicycles. But it’s pursuing the Cash for Clunkers mentality that often leaves us questioning whether the people instituting these environmental plans are familiar with the concept of conservation. Because the current proposal requires participants to throw away their automobiles before they’re granted access to the funds.

Originally reported by Reuters, and presented to us by a reader sharing a Jalopnik article, the matter curiously requires e-bike riders to scrap a vehicle that’s almost guaranteed to be worth more than the voucher they’ll be exchanging it for.

Last week, lawmakers in the National Assembly (the lower house of the French Parliament) approved the measure in a preliminary vote as part of an amendment to a draft climate bill. The initiative is targeting a reduction of greenhouse emissions by 40 percent in 2030 against levels taken in 1990.

From Reuters:

If adopted, France will become the first country in the world to offer people the chance to trade in an ageing vehicle for an electric or folding bicycle, the French Federation of Bicycle Users (FUB) said.

“For the first time it is recognised [sic] that the solution is not to make cars greener, but simply to reduce their number,” said Olivier Schneider of the FUB.

While we’re not sure if scrappage programs are ever as environmentally sound as they claim to be, it’s difficult to argue that e-bikes will have a bigger carbon footprint than whatever they’ll be replacing. But they’ll also be ill-suited to the kind of long-distance traveling we typically use automobiles for and imagine most individuals interested in the program will eventually end up buying another car when they could have ran their old beater for a few more years. Unless they’re content with relying upon mass transit, that is.

The measure has yet to pass and seems a bit daft but we’re not ruling anything out. France has launched numerous pro-bike initiatives in the past and has been handing cash to people willing to buy electrified two-wheelers for a few years. For example, the country was offering local grants of between €100 and €600 for residents interested in purchasing an e-bike in 2019.

FUB seems incredibly interested in advancing the new proposal and was expressing its dismay with France’s rejection of several ideas it had launched to tie the financial support of bicycle purchases to the nation’s Climate and Resilience laws. In March, the group cited over a dozen examples of pro-bicycle proposals that were rejected — citing that they were ideal solutions to reducing transportation-related emissions and should have been supported, especially considering France’s support for cycling as a hobby/sport.

“This systematic refusal of the debate on active mobility in the Climate Act is incomprehensible,” the FUB stated over social media.

[Image: Kovop58/Shutterstock]

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  • ToolGuy ToolGuy on Apr 15, 2021

    True fact: • In the past month I have logged more miles on foot than by motor vehicle. • More miles by bicycle than motor transport as well. • And more kayak trips than fuel stops. This episode of My Boring Life is brought to you by The Future. [During the pandemic I have been getting tremendous use out of some infrastructure funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.]

  • Jimble Jimble on Apr 15, 2021

    When I was still commuting to work I used to commute by e-bike most days, 10 miles each way. And I was a 60-year-old with a heart condition. I was lucky to be able to keep the bike in my office so I didn't have to worry about theft or juggle multiple bike locks all the time. In the US about half of all car trips are 5 miles or less, which is well within e-bike range (and within non-e-bike range for a healthy adult). There are lots of reasons why someone might prefer not to travel by bike -- hills, lack of safe infrastructure, weather, etc. I used to ride happily in temperatures well under freezing but riding in the rain was the one thing I could never tolerate. Even if you travel primarily by bike (or foot or transit) you might feel the need to keep a car for some trips, but maybe a family could sell their second car to save on insurance, maintenance, and all that. It's good to have options that are cheaper, healthier, and more sustainable than making all of your trips by car. It's also nice to have your own car sometimes, too. I don't drive mine very often but I'm not planning to sell it anytime soon.

  • Bd2 Other way around.Giorgetto Giugiaro penned the Pony Coupe during the early 1970s and later used its wedge shape as the basis for the M1 and then the DMC-12.The 3G Supra was just one of many Japanese coupes to adopt the wedge shape (actually was one of the later ones).The Mitsubishi Starion, Nissan 300ZX, etc.
  • Tassos I also want one of the idiots who support the ban to explain to me how it will work.Suppose sometime (2035 or later) you cannot buy a new ICE vehicle in the UK.Q1: Will this lead to a ICE fleet resembling that of CUBA, with 100 year old '56 Chevys eventually? (in that case, just calculate the horrible extra pollution due to keeping 100 year old cars on the road)Q2: Will people be able to buy PARTS for their old cars FOREVER?Q3: Will people be allowed to jump across the Channel and buy a nice ICE in France, Germany (who makes the best cars anyway), or any place else that still sells them, and then use it in the UK?
  • Tassos Bans are ridiculous and undemocratic and smell of Middle Ages and the Inquisition. Even 2035 is hardly any better than 2030.The ALMIGHTY CONSUMER should decide, not... CARB, preferably WITHOUT the Government messing with the playing field.And if the usual clueless idiots read this and offer the tired "But Government subsidizes the oil industry too", will they EVER learn that those MINISCULE (compared to the TRILLIONS of $ size of this industry) subsidies were designed to help the SMALL Oil producers defend themselves against the "Big Oil" multinationals. Ask ANY major Oil co CEO and he will gladly tell you that you can take those tiny subsidies and shove them.
  • Dusterdude The suppliers can ask for concessions, but I wouldn’t hold my breath . With the UAW they are ultimately bound to negotiate with them. However, with suppliers , they could always find another supplier ( which in some cases would be difficult, but not impossible)
  • AMcA Phoenix. Awful. The roads are huge and wide, with dedicated lanes for turning, always. Requires no attention to what you're doing. The roads are idiot proofed, so all the idiots drive - they have no choice, because everything is so spread out.