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Bicycle commuter benefit extends to include e-bikes
Electric bicycles are to be granted the same fiscal status as regular bicycles, the federal council of ministers has decided. The decision means that employees who use the bicycle to commute to and from work will receive €0.23 per kilometre, whether they use regular bikes or fast electric bicycles. The scheme will enter into effect retroactively from 1 January, 2017, writes De Morgen.
The popularity of the electric bicycle, or e-bike, continues to rise in Belgium, where one in three bikes sold is equipped with an auxiliary electric motor. The classic e-bikes can reach a speed of 25km per hour. A sporty speed-pedelec is capable of reaching up to 45km per hour.
Under the current Belgian traffic code, these faster e-bikes are considered 'mopeds' and therefore not eligible for the bicycle commuter benefit. With the new amendment, the government will extend the compensation to include users of all types of electronic bicycles.
"For obvious reasons, we want to encourage the use of the bicycle for work traffic, regardless of the type of bike," explains finance minister Johan van Overtveldt.