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UK government considering e-bike trial scheme

Continental eRuban Plus tyre
(Image credit: Continental)

The UK government wants to increase e-bike usage in England. The government is considering funding a scheme that would allow people to test ride e-bikes at events and popular holiday locations throughout the country. 

The rationale is that once people experience an e-bike for themselves, they are more likely to buy one. 

The Guardian newspaper recently reported that a business case was created about the plan for the Department of Transport, and the government will partner with a third party to purchase the bikes and run the events during the summer and autumn at yet to be determined locations.

E-bike sales have exploded in recent years, with bike brands offering multiple models across all categories, from road cycling to commuting and mountain biking. However, e-bike sales in the UK have lagged behind electric bike adoption in Europe, according to the article.

A similar plan in Switzerland reportedly led to an e-bike boom in the country.

Multiple countries are also considering subsidies or tax credits for e-bike purchases. In the UK, subsidies could knock a third off the retail price of an e-bike, but that plan won't be revealed until later this spring. In the US, the E-BIKE Act would create a 30 per cent tax credit, but the bill hasn't made any significant movement through Congress.

Recent moves by governments show how popular e-bikes have become, which are attractive due to the potential health and environmental benefits.