Is that a battery under your kilt?

The Scottish Government wants more people on e-bikes and has plugged its community into a massive $A1.6M cash stream of encouragement.

Local authorities, public sector agencies, community groups and further and higher education institutions can now apply for these funds.

Individuals and families can borrow up to £6,000 interest-free for four years to finance the purchase of a pedelec, including e-cargo bikes.

Businesses can get grants of up to £30,000 to purchase e-bike fleets.

The funds will also launch a business e-cargo project to offer businesses a free trial of an e-cargo bike for a 12-month period in return for exchanging usage data for a research project on the potential for e-cargo bikes to address business needs.

And as a special response to the COVID crisis, there is now funding available for e-bike projects that support Scotland’s key and essential workers.

This is the forth round of funding in an e-bike scheme that got its first charge in 2018. What was originally an environmental thrust now has a string focus on COVID response.

Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure and Connectivity, Michael Matheson, said: “Through previous rounds of funding we have witnessed what is possible when people are provided with the financial means to replace single occupancy car journeys with a more sustainable alternative through e-bikes.

“With this new round of funding we hope to provide those same benefits to more organisations and better learn how e-cargo bikes can meet their needs whilst improving Scotland’s air quality, health and sense of well-being.

“Through this scheme we are also continuing to provide our key and essential workers with the means to use e- bikes as they continue to support our country through the COVID-19 crisis.

"The increase in the numbers of people walking and cycling across Scotland during lockdown is extremely encouraging and we will continue to provide support to develop an Active Nation.”

Lee Craigie, Active Nation Commissioner for Scotland, added: “Across Europe, e-bikes have transformed thousands of people’s relationships with physical activity.

"The realisation that for a fraction of the cost—not to mention a fraction of the associated carbon emissions—there exists a fun, easy way to get ourselves our shopping and even our kids around while at the same time getting some exercise, has meant e-bikes and e-cargo bike sales are going through the roof.

“E-cargo bikes are also proving themselves capable of making the deliveries around our built-up areas that until now diesel emitting vans have been undertaking. Healthy, safer, quieter, more environmentally sustainable high streets are possible and e-bikes and e-cargo bikes are an important part of this change.”

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