For the next 3 years, residents of Sweden are getting a serious incentive to get on an e-bike, as the country is setting aside about €35 million per year to subsidize their purchase.
Earlier this year, we shared the news about a €200 electric bike subsidy in France, a $1200 subsidy in Oslo, Norway, for electric cargo bike purchases, and now, just a few days after writing about Stockholm's new electric bike share program, it turns out that Sweden is going all in on electrified bikes.
The new Swedish program, which is written into the country's budget as a total of 1050 million SEK (€105 million) over the years 2018, 2019, and 2020, is in effect already (as of the 20th of September 2017), with monies for the subsidies being paid out beginning the 1st of January 2018. It is limited to the purchase of one bike per person per year, and applicants must be age 15 or above, but with it covering 25% of an e-bike's purchase price, up to a ceiling of 10,000 SEK (€1000/US$1228), it's a significant incentive.
According to the European Cycists' Federation (ECF), the e-bike subsidy proposal came into being through an extensive amount of advocacy work done by Cykelfrämjandet, a cyclists’ association. Lars Strömgren, the president of the association, said he sees this as a way to change the transportation habits in the country, and that "it is time to plan the infrastructure for even more electric bicycles."
In an article on the organization's website about the new e-bike subsidy, Strömgren points to the success of an e-bike subsidy in Norway, saying (in Swedish, via Google Translate):
"The results were striking - the elcycling prize got more to buy electric bikes, cycle longer, more often and to a large extent at the expense of previous driving. People who received the motorcycle premium increased their cycling by 30 percentage points, of which 16 percentage points at the expense of previous car driving. This meant that CO2 emissions fell by between 440 and 720 grams per day for each participant who had the chance to buy a discounted electric bicycle." - Strömgren
He goes on to mention that participants in that e-bike subsidy program ended up increasing their cycling by an extra 12 to 18 kilometers per week beyond what they would ride on a conventional bike.
According to the ECF, which provides some of the funding for Cykelfrämjandet, "the industry now sees a €100 million return for just €60,000 grants" to the organization, and as part of its inspiration, Cykelfrämjandet credits the ECF's own studies. The organization's 16-page report, "Electromobility for all: Financial incentives for e-cycling," is free to download, and offers examples of use cases in Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, the UK, and the Netherlands.
More information about Sweden's new budget as it relates to the environment and the climate is available on the government's site.