Incentive to innovate
More and more businesses are opting for an electric cargo bike instead of a delivery van. And that’s no surprise. Globally we are seeing more and more cities taking the initiative to bar polluting traffic from the city center. Low traffic zones and zero emission zones are being created, parking spaces are being replaced with greenery, and more and more roads are being turned into cycling and pedestrian zones. Governments are providing the incentive to innovate.
The electric cargo bike is a good and efficient alternative for travelling through the city, including for businesses. The idea of replacing a van with an electric cargo bike is made even more interesting by the various subsidy schemes and tax breaks available. We have highlighted the subsidy schemes for the purchase of an electric cargo bike in:
The Netherlands: Up to 62% tax break on purchase of electric cargo bike
In the Netherlands the current tax deductions can offer a saving of over 62% on the investment when purchasing an electric cargo bike, including reclaimed VAT. A true incentive to innovate business logistics. The tax deductions are summarized below:
- The environmental investment deduction (MIA) on an electric cargo bike for business use. 45% of the full purchase amount can be claimed, offering the possibility of reducing the taxable profit. The three simple conditions can be found using this link: MIA & VAMIL Environmental list code F 3119.
- Accelerated Depreciation on Environmental Investments (VAMIL) is awarded to a business depending on the tax rate that applies to the business. 75% can be written off in the first year, and the remaining 25% can be written off in the following year. The conditions can be found at MIA & VAMIL for businesses.
- Small-scale Investment Deduction (KIA); this scheme applies to investments in business assets, including an electric cargo bike. Up to 28% of this can be deducted from the taxable profit, reducing the business owner’s income tax. Source: Tax Administration KIA scheme.
Please note: The Dutch government has also drawn up rules about the maximum permitted dimensions of electric cargo bikes. Check with your supplier that the electric cargo bike complies with these rules. You can find more information about these rules here.
Germany: Up to 4200 euro purchase contribution when buying an electric cargo bike for business use
Germany offers a subsidy which can give a saving of up to EUR 4200 on the purchase of an electric cargo bike for business use. This does depend on the region or city. Both the application processes and the subsidy amounts vary. In most cases the business can submit the invoice to the local authority as a subsidy request so that the amount of subsidy can be calculated. The payments range from EUR 600 in the German region of Limburg to EUR 4200 in Nordrhein Westfalen.
Belgium: Local authorities in the lead
Low traffic zones are also being introduced in an increasing number of towns and cities in Belgium. That means that some urban areas are made partially inaccessible for motorized vehicles at certain times. It’s no surprise that here too more and more businesses are switching to the electric cargo bike. They can continue to deliver their services and products easily everywhere. This move is further supported by an incentive to innovate. However, Belgium does not have a national subsidy scheme for the purchase of electric cargo bikes for businesses. But various local authorities do offer subsidies, such as Ghent, Uccle and Brussels. Ask the local authority what’s available.
Brussels businesses receive up to EUR 4000 in subsidy when buying an electric cargo bike
As a result of the implementation of the low traffic zones, Brussels introduced interesting subsidy schemes for businesses on 1 April 2022. The Cargo Bike Project enables businesses that are liable for VAT in the Brussels Capital Region to receive a premium. This premium is calculated on the purchase cost of the cargo bike, and can reach 4000 euro. It must be shown that the cargo bike is being used for business purposes. You can find the application conditions here.
UK: eCargo Bike Grant – subsidy for electric cargo bike up to 40% of the purchase cost
In recent years the eCargo Bike Grant Fund has been introduced in the UK to promote the purchase of electric cargo bikes for business use. This subsidy for electric cargo bikes offers businesses a purchase discount of up to 40% on the full investment.
Extension of e-cargo subsidy scheme in prospect
The subsidy scheme has been extended once, and was available until 14 February 2022. The subsidy pot is now empty. But don’t worry, national media and local parties in the UK are campaigning for a new round of subsidies to extend its success. Read the latest news about the eCargo bike grant fund here.
France: EUR 1000 subsidy for electric cargo bike for business use
At the end of 2021, France extended climate legislation with a subsidy for the purchase of electric cargo bikes, including for businesses. The subsidy is available to individuals, government bodies and businesses, and can be as much as EUR 1000 for the purchase of an electric cargo bike.
Paris has separate subsidy schemes for business cargo bike purchases
Paris City Council is encouraging its residents and businesses to opt for sustainable means of transport. As a business you can receive a contribution of EUR 1200 towards the purchase cost of a cargo bike for business use. Progressive Parisian businesses are jumping on this incentive to innovate.
It is also possible to claim the subsidy for the installation of a charging point for the electric (cargo) bike up to a maximum amount of EUR 200. Please note that the current turnaround time for applications for these subsidies can be more than two months, and they can only be submitted electronically.
You can find full information about the schemes for the purchase of electric vehicles in Paris here.
Benefits of using a cargo bike for businesses
With an electric cargo bike you as a business are making an environmentally-conscious and money-saving choice. That saving starts with the appealing tax breaks and subsidy schemes on the purchase, but continues throughout its operation. With a cargo bike employees can travel quickly and flexibly through the city. Getting stuck in traffic is a thing of the past, and that saves on travel time. The savings on parking costs are also significant. Research also shows that cycling enhances employees’ their efficiency and enjoyment of their work. Added together, a quick calculation shows a replacing a delivery van with an electric cargo bike can result in a significant saving. Not just greener – also cheaper!