France to let drivers trade in their cars for new e-bikes

Authorities are trying to encourage motorists to get rid of their old, gas-guzzling cars 

France is offering motorists the chance to trade in their old, gas-guzzling cars and swap them for a brand-new e-bike. 

The French government is aiming to encourage more people to ditch the car and start pedalling, in an attempt to dramatically reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 2030.

In the new initiative, if it is adopted by the authorities, will let resides trade in their vehicles in exchange for a 2,500 (£2,155) grant to buy an electric-powered bike, Reuters reports.

The scheme is part of a commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40 per cent of their 1990 levels by the year 2030. 

The French Federation of Bicycle Users said that, if adopted, France would be the first country in the world to offer people the chance to trade in an old car for an e-bike.

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Olivier Schneider from the FUB said: "For the first time it is recognised that the solution is not to make cars greener, but simply to reduce their number.”

Electric bikes – often known as e-bikes – are conventional bicycles, with a rechargeable battery and a motor to help move you along, taking some of the effort out of pedaling. 

On France’s new proposed scheme, Bike Biz reports that Cycling Industries Europe, a trade association for companies working in the cycling sector, welcomed its introduction.

Chief executive Kevin Mayne said: “Ever since the start of the COVID crisis, we have said there should be no car scrappage schemes in recovery and climate plans that don’t include the option of bicycle purchases. 

Every Government needs to recognise that it is the cycling industries of Europe that are leading the world in the change to e-mobility.”

France saw a huge increase in the sale of e-bikes in 2020, with total sales jumping by 25 per cent. 

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The industry is expected to continue growing worldwide, with estimates that sales will increase from 3.7million to 17 million per year by 2030.  

Alex Ballinger
Alex Ballinger

Alex is the digital news editor for After gaining experience in local newsrooms, national newspapers and in digital journalism, Alex found his calling in cycling, first as a reporter and now as news editor responsible for Cycling Weekly's online news output.

Since pro cycling first captured his heart during the 2010 Tour de France (specifically the Contador-Schleck battle) and joining CW in 2018, Alex has 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 journalism, Alex is a national level time triallist, avid gamer, and can usually be found buried in an eclectic selection of books.