The Belgian government has decided to tax fast e-bikes – the so-called speedpedelecs – at the same rate as ordinary bicycles.
Consequently, the allowance of €0.23/km for commuting by bicycle will now also apply to speedpedelecs. The measure will be applied retroactively from 1 January 2017.
E-bikes have been gaining in popularity for years. At present, one in three bicycles sold in Belgium is equipped with an auxiliary electric engine. Classic electric bikes can reach speeds up to 25 km/h, while speedpedelecs can go as fast as 45 km/h.
A change in Belgian traffic code reclassified speedpedelecs as mopeds, excluding them from the compensation offered for e-bikes. That is rectified by this proposal. “For evident reasons, we aim to promote cycling to and from work, irrespective of the type of bicycle”, says Johan Van Overtveldt (pictured), Belgium's Finance Minister.
Image: public domain