France is the latest country to look at offering incentives to residents who want to use more eco-friendly means of transportation. The new measure, if passed into law, would give people the chance to trade in older, gas-powered cars in return for €2,500 ($2,975) to buy an electric bike.
Reuters reports that the measure is part of a draft climate bill with the primary aim of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 40-percent in 2030, based on 1990’s levels. The draft has been through a preliminary vote, which passed, and is now on track for another vote to bring it into law.
Finland also has a similar scheme, which has been a success story since its inception in 2018. Finland’s version gave rebates that could also be used towards electric cars, or even towards more efficient gas-powered cars. It was aimed at removing higher-emission cars from the roads.
Other countries have followed suit, with Lithuania offering a very similar program last year. Residents could get €1,000 ($1,200) if they junked their old cars, with the money able to buy electric vehicles of all kinds, or even public transport tickets. More than 8,500 people took advantage of the scheme.
Are incentives enough to break the American love for gas-guzzling cars? Maybe not on their own, as decades of infrastructure planning aimed at car use needs to be rethought before things like ebikes or escooters are a viable alternative.
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