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Transport Ministry proposes €400 e-bike subsidy

If approved, private buyers will be eligible for one subsidy payment annually, starting this summer.

Polkupyöräilijä vesisateessa Helsingissä 13. maaliskuuta.
A cyclist using an e-bike in Helsinki on 13 March. Image: Antti Aimo-Koivisto / Lehtikuva
Wif Stenger

Finland’s Ministry of Transport and Communications is proposing a subsidy of up to 400 euros annually for anyone who buys an electric bicycle.

An electric bicycle or e-bike has a built-in electric motor and rechargeable battery that helps with propulsion. They typically sell for 1400-3,000 euros in Finland, with some simpler models beginning around 700 euros.

If approved, the rebates would be handed out by the Finnish Transport Safety Agency (Trafi). The plan is to open an online application system on 1 July 2018. Subsidies could be obtained retroactively for any e-bike bought after 1 April.

Funds from 'bioeconomy and clean solutions' programme

The money would be paid out of budget funds earmarked to support the acquisition of electric cars and the conversion of gas and ethanol cars between 2018 and 2021. Thus the plan would require a revision of legislation aimed at supporting the purchase of low-emission cars.

The proposal is part of a government plan to encourage walking and cycling, which is to be unveiled on Friday.

That, in turn, falls under the centre-right coalition’s overall programme to boost what it calls 'bioeconomy and clean solutions'. Environmental groups such as the Finnish Association for Nature Conservation have expressed sustainability concerns about the programme, which calls for expanded use of renewable natural resources.

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