Waikato Regional Council Encourages Staff to Purchase an E-Bike

Waikato Regional Council (WRC) is offering a discount for its staff to purchase electric bikes.  The aim of the scheme is to encourage staff to get out of their cars, reduce carbon emissions and be more active and healthier.  Climate action in action!

ebikeThe WRC e-bike scheme is being introduced currently – demonstration days are planned for staff this month. Based on a staff survey conducted in October 2019, 88 staff identified as “seriously thinking” about or “definitely” interested in purchasing an e-bike.

The Employer e-bike purchase support scheme is a climate action initiative of the government through the New Zealand Transport Authority. It helps many more people to purchase e-bikes by addressing the key barrier of the upfront cost.

WRC has negotiated a bulk discount from an e-bike supplier and is then providing an interest free loan to staff, paid back through salary deductions.   So no cost to the ratepayer.

Results from organisations that have already rolled them out suggest that once people own their own e-bike, they are revolutionising how they get around.

In addition, the cost and carbon savings are impressive. For example, annual savings for a single e-bike commuter, based on replacing an average 12 km each way car commute, are estimated at $900 and nearly one tonne of carbon dioxide emissions.

Check out how Tauranga City Council has seen excellent uptake of e-bikes by their people.

Learn about the scheme here – maybe your Council or other organisation can take up the scheme.

Here are some comments from people who took up the scheme.

“I went from an e-bike sceptic to a convert overnight. I’ve ridden 5,000km in 18 months. I ride three times as often and three times as far as I ever did on my old bike. The city has become smaller, friendlier and more accessible. I ride to work, to meetings, to my night classes at 17th Ave.

From my home in Ōtūmoetai, it’s an easy 15 minutes to the Mount. No queues, no car parking hassles, you feel more alive and you’re saving the world one ride at a time.

My wife bought an e-bike too, having not ridden bikes much, and she now rides to work every day, rain or shine. We’ll zip into town for coffee in the weekends.

The family car only comes out for after-school trips and shopping. E-bikes have changed our lives and we are gleefully, annoyingly evangelical about it.

E-bikes are the way of the future!  The best way to get to work!  Why, you say, I can think of a few reasons….

Speedy – door-to-door it’s often quicker than the car and e-bikes have a great turn of speed, it’s fun!

No stress – I can avoid the car routes by travelling through the countryside or using off road bike lanes, a great way to de-stress at the end of the day.

Exercising – at the same time so you can tick that off for day and get some fresh air.

Power – choosing to have the battery power on or off is a great option depending on how much exertion you want to put in.

Parking – right at your work door. No need to worry about finding a park and paying for one.

I can definitely recommend an e-bike as a great way to travel.”