The European Commission Approves New Funding to Incentivize the Use of Bicycles Across the Continent

Environment - March 7, 2023

The Mobility Industry on 2 Wheels Will Soon Be able to Count on a Real European Plan in Favour of Infrastructures Related to the Use of Bicycles

According to a so-called “Cycling Strategy”, the member states will be invited, in the coming weeks, by the European Parliament, to significantly increase the investments destined for the modernization and, in many cases, the creation from scratch, of cycling infrastructures on their territory, so as to significantly encourage the use of the bicycle as the main means of transport, as is already the case in many European countries, especially in the North. European governments will also have to think about supporting industrial policies that can facilitate the development of the entire productive area of the sector.

The Transport and Tourism Commission of the European Parliament has set up a new European Cyclability Strategy to assign the European Commission and all member states specific tasks with the aim of developing the bicycle sector and also supporting it from an economic point of view. The plan in question is made up of 18 points based on a new concept that sees the bicycle as a real means of transport, as an example of sustainability and extremely productive. The first goal will be to double the number of kilometres travelled by bicycle in Europe by 2030.

To achieve a similar result, the new European plan provides for a fundamental contribution to the development of better connections between purely urban and peripheral areas, through the creation of real cycle highways that can be used in total synergy with the means of transport already in use without there being any inconvenience for the citizen. The operation will therefore include the creation of more spaces dedicated to bicycles in public transport, such as trains, subways and trams as well as a significant increase in new parking areas at the departure and destination points of the most common mobility vehicles .

The European commission will also actively support the industry linked to the production of bicycles so that each country can encourage the use, by companies in the sector, of components and workforce coming from the same construction territory, thus creating a completely European industrial chain, with more efficiently trained staff and improved, state-of-the-art bicycle manufacturing hubs. In recent years, the European bike industry sector has experienced a real boom mainly due to a greater awareness of the population towards the ecological cause and, according to Eurostat, in Europe alone, around 13.5 million bicycles have been produced with an increase of more than 10% compared to the previous year’s production.

The European Parliament, with a support plan similar to the bicycle sector, demonstrates great awareness in relation to an industry in absolute progress and definitively takes sides with all the ecological associations that have made the use of the bicycle a point nerve centre of their campaign to raise  the European population awareness. From a practical point of view, the most important step in favour of bicycle manufacturing companies will be the announced reduction in VAT which, as has already happened in countries such as Portugal, could go from 22% or 23%, depending on the benchmark state, up to 6%. This reduction will also be effective for rental and repair costs, as well as for the sale of bicycles.

In the near future, the European Commission will have to decide in relation to the classification of the different types of bicycles, considering the increasing use of electric ones as well, so as to understand how to manage the new incentive strategy that could also be aimed at production and marketing of the batteries necessary for the construction of e-bikes.