In the next two years, Tasmanians will have the opportunity to receive $1.2 million in incentives to purchase e-bikes, e-scooters, and e-vehicles. The e-bike incentives form a crucial component of the Tasmanian government’s Climate Change Action Plan.

The e-bike incentives program will offer options such as try-before-you-buy schemes, purchasing assistance, and direct subsidies. According to Bicycle NSW, the specific details of the subsidies will be outlined in November.

Tasmania is the first Australian state to introduce such a scheme.

In addition to the incentive program, the Tasmanian government will collaborate with local governments to improve infrastructure for active transport. It will also update the Tasmanian Walking and Cycling for Active Transport Strategy.

Unlike Australia, which is predominantly car-focused, the rest of the world is embracing micromobility as a means of transportation. Short trips in cars are often unnecessary and have contributed to our overall economic and health issues.

Greater Sydney alone sees 6 million trips shorter than 5 km every day. Over 2 million of them are less than 2 km.

European countries and the United States have introduced numerous incentives and subsidies for cycling. Nearly 300 schemes are currently offered at national, regional, and local levels.

For example, the French government provides up to €4,000 (approximately $6,617 AU) for switching from cars to bikes or e-bikes. The mayor of Paris has also pledged to add 130 kilometers of cycleways in the city over the next 5 years.

Furthermore, the Biden administration has introduced the Electric Bicycle Incentive Kickstart for the Environment (E-BIKE) Act. If passed, the legislation would offer a 30% tax credit for US e-bike purchases. It would also provide a credit of up to $1,500 US for new e-bikes costing less than $8,000 US.

Why Australia needs e-bikes

The top electric vehicles are those with two wheels. E-bikes are 10–40 times cheaper than electric cars.

E-bikes are also more environmentally friendly. They generate about 97% less CO2 emissions during production than electric cars. They also require much less electricity to operate.

Furthermore, e-bikes are an active form of transportation that encourages healthy living.

Encouraging e-biking through financial incentives is necessary to address the significant health and environmental challenges that Australia faces. It’s time for active transport to take precedence over car-centric planning.