THE Scottish Government has made fresh funding available to help more people buy electric bikes.

It has allocated a total of £700,000 from its low-carbon vehicle loan budget towards a scheme that allows people to take out an interest-free loan of up to £6000, with a repayment period of up to four years, for the purchase of e-bikes. The loan can support up to two e-bikes capped at £3000 each, one family e-cargo bike capped at £6000 or one adaptive e-bike capped at £6000.

Since the scheme was launched in 2018, the fund has facilitated the purchase of over 740 e-bikes across Scotland. Transport Secretary Michael Matheson highlighted the importance of having more people leaving their cars at home and choosing more sustainable transport methods.

He said: “E-bikes are helping people right across the country to reconnect with cycling and I’m pleased that the Scottish Government can offer additional funding to extend the Energy Saving Trust E-bike Loan Fund.

“The continued advances in technology mean that e-bikes provide a fun, exciting and more sustainable alternative to single-occupancy car journeys. They can extend the range people can typically travel by bike and offer adjustable support for when we encounter headwinds or hills here in Scotland.”

Matheson added: “As we approach a new year, many of us will be thinking of our resolutions and the choices we hope to make.

READ MORE: Glasgow boasts nextbike's two-millionth UK bike rental

“For our health, our wellbeing, the quality of our air and in responding to the global climate emergency we need more people to leave the car at home and to choose travel in more sustainable ways including e-bikes. Whether it is from public hire schemes or through purchase, we’re working in partnership to help people to make these positive choices right across Scotland.”

Tim Anderson is head of transport at Energy Saving Trust, a UK-wide organisation devoted to promoting energy efficiency and conservation and the sustainable use of energy, to reduce carbon dioxide emissions and help prevent climate change.

He said: “The additional £700,000 of loan funding will enable even more people to access the assisted cycling offered by e-bikes.

“The interest-free loan supports the spread of the cost of the initial purchase, while e-bikes are becoming an increasingly popular option for sustainable and active travel.”