How to get a government subsidy for your electric bike

5 min read

Interested in purchasing an electric bike, but stressing over the price tag? Don’t worry—in France, you can lower the purchase price of your electric bike thanks to a handful of electric bike subsidies from the government. Read on to learn if you qualify and how to apply. 

Why use an electric bike to get around?

First, let’s talk about why you’d want your own an electric bike in the first place. This innovative vehicle is halfway between a conventional bicycle and a moped. With the look of a conventional bike plus an added electric motor, an electric bike can take you faster and farther on your journeys with minimal effort. 

Here are some more perks to owning an electric bike: 

  • You can go faster (an electric bike can reach 25 km/h—15 mph) with less effort. If you’re looking for an eco-friendly way to get to work, an electric bike is a good option, as it will save you from arriving at the office in a sweat.

  • Easier up hills and on windy days. An electrically assisted bike can be a great help when you’re facing added resistance such as wind or hills. It allows you to negotiate the most difficult slopes and brave the whims of the weather, thanks to the different levels of assistance available.

  • Travel differently. An electric bike gives you the extra power to carry luggage, tow a trailer, attach a child’s seat, or simply go a little faster without working up a sweat. Whether you’re exploring your holiday destination or commuting around your hometown, an electric bike will help you do it with ease. Tip: Want to go on vacation in France? Check out our top destinations in France in 2021.

Buying an electric bike is a good investment for anyone who wants a more comfortable way to get around than conventional biking. The price, however, often puts a brake on most people’s plans to purchase one. An electric bike usually costs between €1,500 and €2,000. Luckily, there are national and local subsidies to cut the cost of an electric bike so you don’t have to pay entirely out of pocket. Let’s take a look at how they work.

The different subsidies for buying an electric bike

First of all, we need to distinguish between two types of electric bike subsidies:

  • Local subsidies (municipal, departmental, or regional ones)

  • The national subsidy, known as the electrically assisted bicycle bonus

To get the national subsidy, you must have received a local subsidy first. The bonus paid by the federal government only supplements the local subsidy.

Local electric bike subsidies

To get a financial boost when you buy your electric bike, you’ll first need to contact your town, region or department:

  • Numerous cities and departments offer financial assistance, so we advise you to consult them first.

For example, if you live in Paris or Bouches-du-Rhône, you might receive up to €400, while in Lyon it varies between €100 and €500. It’s €100 in the Bordeaux metropolis, up to €250 in Toulouse, and €200 in Nice.

Most of these electric bike subsidies are available to everyone—but not all. For the most part, you’ll have to be a resident of the town or department where you apply for the local subsidy. You may have to buy the bike in a retail outlet located in the same town or department. Or, you may have to be able to show that this is your first time purchasing an electric bike. 

The national electrically assisted bicycle bonus

In addition to the local subsidies, the government has introduced a national electric bike subsidy.

You’ll have to meet a number of conditions to obtain this bonus:

  • You’ve received a local subsidy

  • You have a taxable income less than or equal to €13,489

  • You’re of legal age

  • You’re a resident of France

The amount of the subsidy is equal to the local amount you have received, with a ceiling of €200.

So, if you buy an electric bike for € 1,800 in Paris, you can receive an electric bike subsidy of €400, plus the national ecological bonus capped at €200—€600 of aid in total. Your electric bike will thus only cost you €1,200.

What types of bikes are eligible for the electric bike subsidy?

Before applying for an electric bike subsidy, make sure that the bike you want meets the required criteria. For national assistance, the bike must:

  • be new.

  • have a lead-free battery.

  • comply with the regulations of the French road traffic code  (i.e., the maximum continuous power rating must be 0.25 kilowatts, and the electric assistance is limited to 25 km/h—5 mph—or when the cyclist stops pedaling).

How to apply for the electric bike subsidy

Each municipality, region, or department sets its own procedures for awarding the electric bike subsidy. However, in most cases, you’ll need the following documents:

  • A copy of your identity card

  • Proof of address that’s less than 3 months old

  • RIB (bank account identification statement)

  • An invoice for the purchase of the bicycle

For means-related aid (that is, a subsidy related to low income), you might have to show your tax return.

For the national ecological bonus, you must fill out this form and send it by mail to the Regional Directorate of the Agency for Services and Payment (ASP) with the requested supporting documents.

If the price of an electric bike used to make you break out in a cold sweat, don’t worry. Soon your sweating days will be behind you as you cruise around in ease on your new e-bike, thanks to these government subsidies. Go ahead and invest for less—and start enjoying the money you’ll save in other transportation costs! 

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