E-bike prices could be reduced by a third to get more people cycling

MPs want to introduce discounts to get more people riding to work

(Image credit: In Pictures via Getty Images)

E-bike prices could be slashed by a third to get more people cycling to work. 

The government hopes to use a tax-payer funded discount scheme to offer financial incentives to anyone considering buying a new electric bike

According to a report in The Times ministers are intending to launch the project, which will offer up to a 35 per cent discount, similar to the benefits available for electric cars, next spring. 

The e-bike industry is expected to continue growing in the coming years, with bikes for electric bikes and scooters more than tripling since 2019. 

MPs hopes that encouraging e-bike sales would benefit people who are less fit or slightly older, encouraging them to get back in the saddle if a conventional bike is not for them. 

E-bikes differ from regular bikes as they are powered by an onboard motor and battery, with the power currently limited by law to 250 watts, while e-bikes in the UK must not exceed 25km/h (15mph). 

Earlier this year the Bicycle Association, the national trade organisation for the UK cycle industry, argued that the government should do more to promote the sale of e-bikes to get even more people out riding.  

As sales of bikes boomed during the coronavirus lockdown, the e-bike revolution showed signs of slowing slightly. 

The sale of e-bikes was slowing down before coronavirus lockdown, increasing by just 29 per cent rather than the expected 50 per cent.

After lockdown came into effect, e-bike sales did increase 58 per cent in April, but the Bicycle Association said this is just the normal level of growth expected.

 Meanwhile the number of regular bikes being sold increased by 60 per cent.

The government has taken measures to get more people cycling as Britain deals with the coronavirus pandemic, amid concerns more people may use their cars to avoid public transport.  

This week the latest batch of free £50 bike repair vouchers were released.

The government also made another £175million available from its £2billion fund to pay for cycling and walking infrastructure. 

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Alex Ballinger

Alex Ballinger is editor of BikeBiz magazine, the leading publication for the UK cycle industry, and is the former digital news editor for CyclingWeekly.com. After gaining experience in local newsrooms, national newspapers and in digital journalism, Alex found his calling in cycling, first as a reporter, then as news editor responsible for Cycling Weekly's online news output, and now as the editor of BikeBiz. Since pro cycling first captured his heart during the 2010 Tour de France (specifically the Contador-Schleck battle) Alex covered three Tours de France, multiple editions of the Tour of Britain, and the World Championships, while both writing and video presenting for Cycling Weekly. He also specialises in fitness writing, often throwing himself into the deep end to help readers improve their own power numbers.  Away from the desk, Alex can be found racing time trials, riding BMX and mountain bikes, or exploring off-road on his gravel bike. He’s also an avid gamer, and can usually be found buried in an eclectic selection of books.