Will there be a government decree on electric bicycles?

The deadline set by the Hungarian government for the Minister of National Economy and the Minister of National Development to prepare a proposal to incentivize the use of two- and three-wheeled electric vehicles has passed by many months. Although NGOs developed a detailed proposal on the subject and provided it to the ministries in June 2017, it did not speed up the process either.

The government adopted the decree on implementing measures for the incentivization of electric mobility in February 2016, article 3 of which “calls the Minister of National Development to jointly study with the Minister of National Economy the potential governmental measures to increase the use of two- and three-wheeled electric vehicles (pedelec, e-bike) in Hungary, and to develop a proposal on it to the government (…) by May 31, 2016.”

As the proposal has not been completed by the deadline, CAAG decided to help the government. The Hungarian Cyclists’ Club, in cooperation with the Broadband Foundation and Go-Mobility Ltd prepared a decree proposal, and forwarded it to Jedlik Ányos Cluster (JÁK), an organization committed to the development of electric mobility in Hungary. JÁK agreed with the proposal, and forwarded it to the Ministry of National Development in June 2016.

Two- and three-wheeled electric vehicles – in other words, light electric vehicles – could play an important role in sustainable urban transport. Their use can reduce the volume of traffic and the amount of pollutants emitted by vehicles, and they can be instruments of an active, healthy lifestyle. They can also play an important role in the transport of goods in urban areas. Therefore, the NGOs, among other items, propose the following: a possibility for employers to provide a tax-free travel allowance of 30 HUF per kilometer to employees commuting by bicycles, a regulation which facilitates the storage of bicycles, governmental funds to publicize the use of light electric vehicles, and the incentivization of the use of electric bikes among public administration employees. In addition, the civilians urge the restriction of the use of scooters running on internal-combustion engines, and the introduction of a congestion charge in Budapest.

Hopefully by the end of 2017, the ministers of National Economy and National Development will deliver – although belatedly – the task assigned to them by the government about incentivizing the use of electric vehicles.

Translated by Katalin Tarr