Air pollution is a significant problem in many of the UK’s cities. In 2019, the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, released a statement that read, “two million Londoners are living in areas exceeding legal air limits – including 400,000 children.” 1 It’s no secret that globally, we’re slowly killing our planet and ruining the air quality with our gas guzzling motor vehicles.
Ironically, the design for the electric bike was originally patented in 1898 by Mathew J. Steffens, but became quickly forgotten when the invention of the motorcar stole the limelight. Nearly a century later, the 1990’s saw a resurgence of the electric bike, with the bulk of the growth being driven by China in a bid to combat air pollution. To highlight this further, in 1998 they had 56,000 eBikes on the road, and now China has over 120 million eBikes on the road.
Why choose an eBike?
If we really intend to address the ever pressing issue of climate change and air pollution, then it requires us all to curb our use of motorised transport – especially private cars.
Over a 2 year period, a study of 4,000 people living in London, Antwerp, Barcelona, Vienna, Orebro, Rome and Zurich, made a record of 10,000 travel diary entries. Whether it was a train ride to work, dropping the children to school, or riding the bus into town, for each journey the carbon footprint was calculated.2
Here are some of the key takeaways:-
- People who cycled on a daily basis had 84% lower carbon emissions from all their daily travel than those who didn’t.
- The average person who shifted from car to bike for just one day a week cut their carbon footprint by 3.2kg of CO?.
- Urban residents who switched from driving to cycling for just one trip per day, reduced their carbon footprint by about half a tonne of CO? over the course of a year.
- If one in five urban residents permanently changed their travel behaviour in this way over the next few years, it’s estimated to cut emissions from all car travel in Europe by about 8%.
All in all, eBikes provide us with an alternative travel solution. A cleaner, greener, zero emission alternative – and one that we should all seriously consider! Under the Cycle2Work scheme you could get as much as up to 42% off the cost of your eBike.
What is the Cycle2Work scheme?
In a nutshell, Cycle2Work is a government initiative that offers a cost effective way to get new cycling equipment. If your employer is participating in the scheme, you won’t have to pay tax or national insurance on your equipment – saving you up to 42% on the cost! This reduced cost will be spread over the next 12-18 months, and deducted from your salary.
How much could I save with the cycle to work scheme?
The amount of savings will be different based on your level of remuneration and whether you hit the 40% tax paying threshold. We’ve illustrated the savings that can be made in the examples below based on purchasing an eBike for £5,000:-
Cost before Cycle2Work
- 12 monthly payments of £416.67
- Total cost £5,000
Cost with Cycle2Work (Based on a 20% taxpayer)
- 12 monthly payments of £283.33
- Total cost £3,400
Cost with Cycle2Work (Based on a 40% taxpayer)
- 12 monthly payments of £241.67
- Total cost £2,900
How do I apply for the Cycle2Work scheme?
Applying for Cycle2Work is wheelie easy! Just follow these steps:-
- Choose your gear. Here’s the fun part! Shop for your gear either online or in-store and make a note of the total cost of your gear.
- Submit your application. Make sure you have a note of your employer code, (which can be found on your payslip) and head over to Cyclescheme to submit your application.
- Collect your new ride. Once your application is approved by your employer, you’ll receive a letter of collection, (which is what you’ll need to collect your bike and accessories).
What are the different types of eBike available?
From road to mountain, to folding, and hybrid options, there are a multitude of different styles of eBikes to choose from. Whatever type of eBike you choose, you can be confident in the fact your mode of transport is environmentally friendly.
- gov.uk – Press releases – Mayoral – Latest data shows two million Londoners living with illegal toxic air – 01 April 2019
- The Conversation – Cycling is ten times more important than electric cars for reaching net-zero cities – 29 March 2021