Fully Charged Insights
The Time has come for the U.K. to Embrace E-Mobility
We take a closer look at how Covid has become a catalyst for the electric mobility movement. What does this mean for people just getting into eBiking, and how it can help our cities.
Words By Henry Hayes
The new £2 billion Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy set out by the Department of Transport is a water-shed moment for the eBike world.
Talk to any of your friends from other countries and the answer is usually the same. London’s crazy and complex public transport system has, on the whole, been entirely envied by those around the world… until now. The Transport Secretary, Grant Shapps, revealed last week and reiterated once again yesterday in the daily Downing Street briefing that ‘there’s been a 70% rise in the number of people on bikes and that even with public transport reverting to full distance, there would only be 1/10 passengers on any of our own networks.’ To make matters worse, Transport for London is raising the congestion charge by 30%, temporarily stopping free travel for children on tubes and buses and charging over-60’s to travel at peak times after reaching a £1.6bn bailout from the government. London’s once revered network needs a shake up and it needs it fast. Here at Fully Charged, we know eBikes are going to be at the centre of it.
There have been extraordinary findings in these unprecedented times. The world has officially met Joe Exotic, loo roll has become an unlikely form of currency, and the Transport Secretary’s briefing on 9th May marks a major shift for the eBike industry. His words had a real element of intent; to take pressure off traditional transport networks and create safer, urbanised roads, presenting us all with an opportunity to get back to normality with a greener and healthier mindset. Here’s what he said and how it will have a major impact on all those who are looking to purchase an e-bike over the coming years.
By as early as next month, a £2 billion pound Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy will be launched ‘to put cycling and walking at the forefront of travel in the UK.’ This includes higher standards for permanent infrastructure across the country and the creation of a long-term budget for cycling and walking, similar to road funding. The investment first starts with a £250 million package to enable local authorities to pay for “pop up” cycling and walking infrastructure, catering for social distancing during the next six months. The Department of Transport’s press statement will be ‘publishing fast track statutory guidelines to make councils allow for more cyclists and making it easier to create safer roads.
For all those who are now considering using eBikes, whether that’s to cycle to work for the first time, to use in their day-to-day business lives, or simply to see friends instead of taking to public transport or a car, the infrastructure being invested will at last bring the welfare and safety of us citizens first. All those who previously may have been intimidated to take to the congested roads at rush hour, or to be sandwiched between two middle-aged-men-in-lycra in confined cycling lanes (need I say more…), can start believing that eBikes present a way of traveling safely with the assistance of properly designed and better connected urbanised routes.
There will be an appointment of a zero-emission city with only electric motor vehicles and other forms of non-polluting transport allowed in the centre, as well as an improvement to the already popular Cycle to Work Scheme, which currently allows employees to save between 25-47% on buying a bicycle. The Department of Transport is now enabling taxpayers to buy bikes at even deeper discounts, and is working with employers currently to make better provisions for commuters.
Ever thought that commuting to work from home is too much of a stretch? Ever thought you’d arrive to work too hot and bothered? Ever thought that an eBike is slightly out of your price bracket? Think again. With the above scheme being increased and the likelihood of more cities and town centres becoming carbon neutral over the coming decades, commuting to work on an eBike has never been more appealing, especially if you need that extra push to get you going that extra mile. If you want to know more about how this scheme works and how we can be of assistance, please click here for examples on how we can get you and your company set up!
The Secretary finished his briefing by stating that there is now ‘clear evidence that making streets safer is better for retail, better for business and better for the economy’. It seemed as if the tone and language used by Shapps wasn’t just another broken promise, but an assertion of incremental value to the use of electric vehicles. eBikes are here to make it easier for you to get back into cycling whilst being safe and socially distant, as well as having an everlasting impact on helping reduce carbon emissions in our cities and towns. Now is the time to seize the initiative and embrace the future by becoming Fully Charged.