France Proposes Drivers Trade-In Old Cars for Electric Bikes

Trade in your clunker for an e-bike!

A e-bike in Paris, France.

(GiulianiBruno /

Switching to electric vehicles makes sense. Now it can make cents too. France is proposing a cash-for-clunker program to get gas guzzling old cars off the road by offering an electric bike rebate.

A new proposal is rebating French drivers €2,500 ($2,991) towards the purchase of a new e-bike according to Electrek. The grant is high to allow the purchase of a quality e-bike. Many of Peugeot’s models can be purchased for the amount of the rebate.

To receive the credit, the driver has to surrender their old car to be taken off the road and scrapped. Replacing the highly inefficient gas-powered vehicles will reduce carbon emissions and help France meet its 2015 Paris Agreement goals to keep global warming below 2°C.

In 2018, 200 countries – including France – agreed to the Paris Rulebook that details the way countries can mitigate climate control and this includes limiting greenhouse gas emissions.

Other benefits to the proposed is to get cars off of congested roads according to Electrek. After all, e- bikes take up far less room. And cleaner air due to fewer pollutants is also a big plus.

The measure is an amendment passed by the National Assembly as part of a draft climate bill that will reduce greenhouse emissions by 40 percent in 2030 according to Reuters. If the law passes, it will enable drivers to trade their old vehicles for a much more sustainable mode of transportation.

“For the first time it is recognized that the solution is not to make cars greener, but simply to reduce their number,” Olivier Schneider of the French Federation of Bicycle Users told Reuters.

While this program is admirable, its not exactly the first time a rebate program has been used in the EU according to Electrek. In 2020, a similar program was introduced in Lithuania.

The Lithuanian cash for clunkers project was actually spearheaded by the country’s Environmental Project Management Agency (APVA). Drivers applied to receive a grant for up to €1,000 (nearly $1,200) to purchase a bicycle, e-bike, e-scooter, e-motorcycle, or even public transportation credits for turning in their old vehicles. More than 8,500 people applied for the grant.

Finland also has a similar rebate, according to The Next Web, that was used to help fund more than 1,000 low emission cars, 2,000 e-bikes, and 200 public transportation tickets.

Since the French rebate is more than twice the amount  of the Finish and Lithuanian ones, it should be more successful. Getting a large number of gas guzzlers off the road will go a long way in helping to reduce emissions, road congestion, and  less pollution in the air.

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