GROWTH, HOUSING AND ENVIRONMENT
ELECTRIC BIKE GRANT SCHEME 2019
Purpose of the Report
To approve the latest electric bike grant scheme, providing £150 grant per e-bike, commencing 12 August 2019.
The scheme is designed to deliver an electric bike fund to the Jersey public by discounting the price of an electric assisted pedal cycle, or e-bike, as described in the Pedal Cycles (Jersey) Order 1998.
In the Proposed Government Plan 2020-2023 published on 23rd July 2019, the Government of Jersey committed to implementing:
“schemes that encourage changes in how we travel, increasing cycling, walking and the use of sustainable transport, that deliver a sustainable reduction in carbon emissions, and that increase the level of protection afforded to our environment”.
The first electric bike grant scheme, named “car2cycle” provided £300 per e-bike, and was launched by the Government of Jersey in June 2016.
The scheme was planned to run from 2016 to 2018 inclusive, although public demand was incredibly high and consequently the total £150,000 budget was used by April 2017 and the scheme was closed, having subsidised the sale of 550 e-bikes.
The response to the scheme was very positive; post-sale survey results included comments such as:
“life changing”, “simply brilliant”, “fantastic and easy to get around”, “breathing new life into Jersey with an extra smile and less stress”, “reduced reliance on the car”, “great encouragement to get me out of my car and cycling again”
Evidence from cycle retailers in Jersey suggests a decrease in e-bike sales over the last 12 months.
A new subsidised scheme will encourage the sale of e-bikes locally, and will be available for the purchase of both new and second hand e-bikes.
Encouraging the public to use e-bikes provides several benefits:
- light environmental footprint
- help reduce congestion
- free more parking spaces
- provide access for those who may struggle with a regular push bike
- improve air quality
- decarbonise transport
- assist with tackling the Jersey topography
- increases physical activity
Physical inactivity is known to be a leading cause of obesity and premature mortality; estimates from Public Health England project 70% of adults are expected to be overweight or obese by 2034.
E bikes assist with cycling initiatives to achieve a healthier, fitter, more active population by incorporating more activity into commuting or leisure trips. Evidence from numerous sources show that measures to increase cycling contribute to a wide range of social, economic and environmental objectives at a relatively low cost.
The UK bicycle association report “The Case for a UK Incentive for e-bikes” published in July 2019 claims:
“The remarkable potential of e-bikes to replace a proportion of car trips, while maintaining or increasing physical activity levels for many of their users, gives them a critical role to play in the future of towns and cities.
In several European countries support for e-bike purchase is now viewed as a valuable policy tool for reducing air pollution, traffic congestion and carbon emissions, with additional benefits for social inclusion.”
Scheme Delivery and Logistics
The 2016 scheme was primarily paper based, with public interactions managed and applications administered by the Car Parks team at Sand Street and the DVS team at La Collette.
Those resources do not have the capacity to administer the scheme again this year, therefore the approach will be to use a digital registration and application method using gov.je online forms, and for the cycle retailers to confirm the identification documents produced by the applicant before making the e-bike sale.
Highlights of the 2019 scheme rules are:
- Open to Jersey based cycle retailers only, conditional upon completion of the registration online form
- Open to Jersey residents only, aged 14 and above, conditional upon completion of the Individual applicant online form
- Only one e-bike per individual
- Individuals receive an e-mail from the Government of Jersey confirming their online application completion and containing their unique grant code – which cycle retailers must check before making the sale
- Individuals must provide photo identification (passport, identity card, driving licence) and a copy of a utility bill not older than 3 months confirming the same Jersey residential address as the e-mail containing their unique grant code - which cycle retailers must check before making the sale
- Cycle retailers must complete the e-bike sale details online form as soon as possible following each e-bike sale
- Cycle retailers must provide a free service check within 3 months of the e-bike sale
- Cycle retailers will invoice Government of Jersey once a month to claim refund of grants
Full scheme rules and conditions of funding are laid out in a “Partnership Agreement” document and declarations are embedded within the online forms on gov.je that both the cycle retailers and individual applicants must accept before they are able to proceed.
An online survey link will be sent to participants of the scheme after three months of purchasing an e-bike, to coincide with the timescale for the free e-bike service check that the cycle retailers must provide as a condition of participating in the scheme.
The scheme will contribute to the strategic aims of the Proposed Government Plan 2020-2023, as well as the Sustainable Transport Policy and the recently published Council of Ministers report on Tackling the Climate Emergency
The Minister is recommended to approve the electric bike grant scheme 2019.
Reason(s) for Decision
To increase cycling in Jersey by broadening the range of cycle users and using the e-bike as a car alternative.
There will be £50,000 allocated from the GHE Sustainable Transport Budget, providing 333 e-bike grants, applied for via online forms on gov.je. Once the funding has been used, the scheme will come to an end.
Officers to liaise with local retailers to introduce the scheme on 12 August 2019 for registration by cycle retailers, and by 19 August for individual grant applications.
Social media campaigns and marketing materials will be produced by the central Communications team.
All information will be uploaded to Gov.je.
Transport Project Delivery Manager
Director of Transport