Drivers may not be getting on the bandwagon to access Germany’s €600 million EV fund to buy electric cars, but for electric-powered cargo bikes, things look very different.
In Berlin, a flood of applications have exhausted an e-bike purchase incentive fund after just one day.
Sections of the program have been halted one day, it was reported in Spiegel Online.
The €90,000 budget for individuals to buy bikes built to help carry objects or other people has been completely exhausted, the Senate Department for Transport said.
Without a requirement to supply an invoice for the application, it is no wonder – the support program effectively gave buyers a 33% discount off the price of the vehicle, with a limit of €1,000 for each purchaser.
€500 maximum was available for individual buyers after a more traditionally human powered bike or trailer.
Instead of supplying an invoice of purchase, applicants only had to provide two quotes – and at that, proof could consist of a mere screenshot of the cargo bike they intended to buy.
One thing is certain – Germans love the idea of getting around town on an electric bike.
Unfortunately the same cannot be said of the nationwide electric car subsidy, which has the potential to create an even larger impact on the environment.
Spiegel Online reports that the state government wants to win over more road users to make the switch to “environmentally friendly, quiet and space-saving” bicycles.
To do so, they initially provided €200,000 in total for 2018, leaving €110,000 for commercial and community organisations wanting to apply for the subsidy.
Next year this will increase to €500,000 – but now everyone has to wait another 6 months to apply.
Berlin joins a growing group of cities, counties and federal states that are supporting the switch to environmentally friendly transport options. These include Munich, Heidelberg, Regensburg, Bamberg and Baden-Württemberg.
Bridie Schmidt is lead reporter for The Driven, sister site of Renew Economy. She specialises in writing about new technology and has been writing about electric vehicles for two years. She has a keen interest in the role that zero emissions transport has to play in sustainability and is co-organiser of the Northern Rivers Electric Vehicle Forum.