Altmeier mit Cargo Bike

German Study Proposes Cargo Bike Subsidy Package of 1 Billion Euros Per Year

On May 25th, a 39-page study on "Socio-Ecologically Oriented Economic Policy in and after the Corona Crisis" was published for the German Ministry for the Environment. The study proposes to grant a substantial cargo bike subsidy scheme of 1 billion euros as part of an economic stimulus package.

Participating Institutes

Institutes involved in the study

Regarding the existing federal purchase premium for unusually large commercial e-cargo bikes, the study states:

The subsidy should be expanded nationwide to include smaller and non-electric cargo bikes and extended until the end of 2021 (federal subsidy currently limited to 28.2.2021). The available funds should be increased to a total (federal and state) of 1 billion euros per year.

The main recipients of such an extension and an addition to the funding programmes would be private households and companies (including logistics companies and retailers supplying goods). In cities, there is the potential to shift about 50% of all deliveries to cargo bikes (Monheim et al. 2016). Shifts in commuting and leisure traffic would also have positive effects in areas such as air pollution control, climate, noise and land use.

A one billion euros purchase premium in 2020 and 2021 respectively would be a significant breakthrough for cargo bikes and the sustainable traffic revolution!

Currently, there are more than 60 different cargo bike purchase schemes provided by the federal states and municipalities of Germany and Austria. However, these are usually very limited in terms of money, time and regarding those who are eligible for application.

Subsidies also Proposed for "Normal" Bicycles and Efficient e-Cars

The study also advises a 1.5 billion euros purchase subsidy for "regular" bicycles in addition to the annual one billion euros for cargo bikes. This would be part of a "changeover premium", which "can be spent either on the purchase of bicycles, public transport or rail".

For cars, "an increase of the eco-rebate that is limited to 3,000 euros until mid-2021” exclusively for "purely electric cars with low to medium consumption" is recommended.

German Car Summit

Already on May 22nd, the German newspaper SPIEGEL, reported that the Federal Government is planning to introduce a purchase premium that will include cars with a combustion engine and CO2 emissions far above the current EU fleet limit. A decision should be made at the next car summit on June 2nd.

It remains to be seen what influence the study and the Federal Environment Minister will have on the car summit. After all, 63 per cent of all Germans are against a purchase premium for cars!

For more information read the original article published by

Denmark cargo bikes

Will the Corona Pandemic Open Doors for Climate-Friendly Mobility in Europe?

The evidence speaks for itself. During the corona lockdown, European cities have become healthier, quieter, and cleaner. And once again, in times of crisis, the bicycle emerges as the most resilient and healthy transport mode. Consequently, new opportunities abound to push cycling further up the agenda during the recovery phase. Several international organisations have laid out recommendations for a sustainable COVID 19 recovery plan:

The European Cyclists' Federation's Recommendations for the COVID Recovery: The European Cyclists’ Federation (ECF) issued a set of recommendations for European, national and local authorities to promote cycling emphasizing that “the promotion of alternatives such as cycle logistics for the last-mile delivery is essential.”

The European exit strategy must include an integrated and sustainable approach to Urban Mobility: In a letter addressed to Executive Vice-President Frans Timmermans and Transport Commissioner Adina Vălean, 12 organisations called for more support for sustainable urban mobility in Europe's exit strategy in response to COVID-19. The letter explains that “as  unemployment and  lay-offs  are  expected  to  rise  in  the  coming  months,  and  family income will  be under stress, walking, cycling and public transport will be the most affordable and equitable transport options, and they will be more necessary than ever.” Moreover, it underlines to “encourage the implementation of future-proof urban freight logistics systems” as part of a European level strategy.

Cycling is a fast-track from the EU COVID Recovery package to the EU Green Deal: Cycling Industries Europe, in cooperation with five other international cycling organisations, addressed an open letter to the EU Commission and Parliament leadership on climate change and mobility showing that new “COVID-lanes” combined with support for e-bikes can relieve pressures on public transport and stimulate green growth in line with the EU Green Deal.

EU Recovery Package must ensure significant support to public transport: Transport & Environment initiated a letter addressed to Executive Vice-President of the European Commission, Frans Timmermans, and European Union Commissioner for Transport, Adina Vălean, arguing that “while  urban  mobility  is  being  disrupted  dramatically  by  the  current  crisis,  your  work  on  the  EU  Covid Recovery Package can mitigate the impact -and ensure public transport emerges stronger.” Furthermore, it stresses that "The EU recovery package should also boost cycling and the availability of public e/bike fleets in Europe with a multi-billion euro investment commitment."