Since March 1, 2018, the state has been supporting the purchase of a new heavy-duty wheel by paying 30 percent of the purchase price; the maximum cost coverage is 2,500 euros per bicycle. For heavy-duty wheels with an electric drive, a payload capacity of 150 kilograms and a loading volume of one cubic meter. Electrified bicycle teams and load trailers also fall under the eligibility criteria. This subsidy also applies retroactively to load wheels purchased since 29 November 2017. So this support is also very interesting for a courier service, because here the state takes some of the purchase price with the purchase of an appropriate company load wheel. This also applies to a bicycle courier who wants to set up his own business.
Investments for the purchase of electrically driven freight bicycles, trailers for loads with electric drive support or a combination of freight trailers and freight bicycles, in which at least part of them (either trailers or bicycles) must have an electric drive function, are eligible.
Participation only as a commercial bicycle courier or courier service
Since March, however, the support offer has only been available to professional cyclists. Only a small solution has been put in place.
As already mentioned, private companies, regardless of their legal form (including cooperatives) and regardless of the type of activity (including freelancers), companies with municipal involvement, research institutions and hospitals as well as the sponsors of municipalities (municipalities, cities, districts) and public, religious community and non-profit universities (not including the Adult Education Centre) are entitled to apply.
This is being implemented as part of the Federal Environment Ministry's National Climate Protection Initiative through this new small-series directive. The Federal Office of Economics and Export Control (BAFA) based in Eschborn is responsible for the application (as with the purchase of an electric car and the associated purchase premium).
Individual cities with their own funding programme
Some cities in Germany have set up their own support programmes here, which are then also aimed at private individuals. Munich is one of them. Here, for example, the purchase of a load wheel is supported with up to 1,000 euros. Also there are such concepts among other things in Limburg (support up to 600 euro), Regensburg (support up to 1.000 euro, Dachau (support up to 1.000 euro), Heidelberg (support up to 500 euro or in Bamberg (support up to 300 euro. Incentives for private individuals are then also to be created here.
The current market situation for such cargo bikes is such that this sector currently has a share of approximately 5 percent of the total bicycle market and is therefore a kind of niche product. For this reason, production is very high due to the somewhat low quantities and thus also the purchase prices. However, if demand should increase considerably here due to the purchase premiums, this type of wheel will also become cheaper.
There is also the possibility for private persons who do not receive any subsidies and are interested in such a bicycle to contact a Cargobike Sharing company. Some of these cargo bikes will also be offered there free of charge for a limited period of time.
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