The Scottish eBike Grant Fund has first results and says it enabled the purchase over 100 e-bikes to 19 organisations across Scotland for 2019/20. Over £273,000 has been granted by the Government so far, with additional grants expected to come through before the end of the year.
At the beginning of this year, the Scottish government announced the second round of its eBike Grant Fund designed to help organisations, universities and communities to purchase e-bikes either through direct grants or match funding. The funding has the purpose of ensuring that people across Scotland can benefit from e-bikes in an affordable way. Since the initiative began, over 600 e-bikes have been funded.
Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure and Connectivity Michael Matheson said: “I’m pleased that we’ve been able to help a further 19 organisations procure e-bikes or e-cargo bikes in 2019 so far. This is part of our ambition to develop an Active Nation, where more people have opportunities to walk and cycle than ever before.”
Last year, Scotland’s government began its campaign of encouraging more people to swing a leg or two using an electric bike or cargo pedelec, particularly on shorter journeys. The government earmarked no less than 1.3 million pounds to become available to citizens, businesses and public sector organisations. Overall, Scotland is working towards phasing out combustion-powered cars by 2032. Last year the country mobilised millions for infrastructure as well as electric vehicles of all kinds. Scotland has also led the way with its use of zero-emission fuel cell buses.
For a landscape with many hills, electric bikes pose big advantages over conventional bicycles. In summer this year, the Scottish charity Forth Environment Link launched “Scotland’s largest electric bike hire scheme” called Forth Bike. The first fleet is based at Forth Valley Royal Hospital and also part of an NHS study.
Ellie Grebenik, Senior Programme Manager, Scottish Transport at Energy Saving Trust said: “More than £270,000 to date has been awarded in round three of the eBike Grant Fund. The amount of money will support the purchase of 113 e-bikes and 11 e-cargo bikes, along with four e-trikes and three trailers across 19 organisations.” She explained that, besides the health and air-quality benefits, the use of e-bikes and e-cargo bikes also helps reduce transportation costs. She added that “It also provides a great example of active travel for business and organisational use,” explaining that “The eBike Grant Fund is still accepting applications from public and third sector applicants and full details are available on our website.”