EDITORIAL: Incentives would fuel purchase of e-bikes

Much has been made recently about the incentives being doled out by the provincial and federal governments to buyers of electric vehicles. But one group of commuters desire to create a healthier planet is being forced to take a backseat.

While buyers of an electric vehicle under $45,000 qualify for a federal grant of up to $5,000 as well as a provincial grant of up to $3,000 (recently rolled back from $5,000), those who get around on two wheels instead of four are expected to help the environment on their own dime.

READ MORE: Electric cargo bikes booming despite lack of incentives

This may come as news to those in the halls of power, but saving the planet is not a bastion of the rich. And those who can’t afford to shell out $45,000 on a new set of wheels may still appreciate a little help from government.

Since 2015 the B.C. Cycling Coalition has asked for PST to be waived on electric assist bikes, something that already applies to regular bikes. With the price of a new electric-assist cargo bike starting at around $3,000, elimination of the PST would represent a $210 incentive for perspective riders. It’s a far cry from the $8,000 governments are willing to fork over to those getting behind the wheel of a Nissan Leaf, but cyclists are still told to peddle their petitions elsewhere.

What cyclists do qualify for is an $850 rebate through B.C.’s Scrap-It program if you scrap your car. In other words, no more trips over the Malahat for you, and if you want to get somewhere in winter, you best prepare to get wet.

There is no reason governments shouldn’t be doing more to get commuters onto an electric bike. Apart from the benefits to the environment, it would also serve to lessen congestion on the roads of major urban centres.

You need to own a home in order to qualify for a homeowner grant; you need disposable income to benefit from RRSPs; and apparently you need to have $40k kicking around in your pockets to get some help in battling climate change. Maybe it’s time for governments to ride to the rescue of the little guy for a change.

READ MORE: Check out the ‘Caboost,’ an out-of-the-bike electric motor

Just Posted

Cycslists were all smiles during ninth Tour de Victoria

More than 2,100 cyclists participated

‘I’m just absolutely disgusted’: Husband furious after Const. Beckett’s killer gets day parole

Kenneth Fenton was sentenced to prison after he fatally struck Const. Sarah Beckett’s cruiser

Police investigating incident in Saanich neighbourhood

Neighbours tell Black Press Media that a body has been found, but police remain tight-lipped.

Colwood man takes on Ride to Conquer Cancer for 11th year in a row

Team Finn has raised almost $3 million for BC Cancer Foundation

Langford lizard sighting excites Victoria museum curator

Curator of vertebrate zoology/knowledge explains the spread of the Wall lizard in the region

VIDEO: Langley Ribfest met with protesters

Groups that oppose the event for various reasons plan to be on site each of the three days.

Canadians killed in Afghanistan honoured during emotional dedication ceremony

One-hundred-fifty-eight Canadian soldiers died during the mission

It’s snow joke: Up to 30 cm of snow expected to fall in northeastern B.C.

Alaska Highway, Fort Nelson to be hit with August snowstorm, according to Environment Canada

Sea-to-Sky Gondola in B.C. likely out of commission until 2020

Sea to Sky Gondola carries between 1,500 and 3,000 people every day during the summer season

Helicopter-riding dog Mr. Bentley now featured on cans of new B.C.-made beer

Partial proceeds from every pack go to Children’s Wish

PHOTOS: Weapons seized at Portland right-wing rally, counterprotests

Not all who gathered Saturday were with right-wing groups or antifa

Ferries employees participating in Denman Island cleanup for plastic-shedding ferry

The cleanup comes a few weeks after one organized by residents of the Island

Discussion on grief and loss between Stephen Colbert, Anderson Cooper goes viral

The exchange includes emotional question from Cooper, and outlook on grief as a child

Toronto activist calling on federal parties to nominate more black candidates

Fewer than 20 black Canadians have been nominated so far, including some Liberal MPs seeking re-election

Most Read