The current evaluation by the Ministry of Climate Protection (BMK) shows that the purchase incentives within the klimaaktiv mobility grants for 2023 are being well received. Vorarlberg leads in E-bike support, Vienna is keen on folding bikes, and cargo bikes are very popular in Burgenland. The klimaaktiv mobility performance report for 2022 demonstrates that cycling, with 87 implemented grant projects and 19 million euros in funding, is a significant focus.
In collaboration with a representative for the Chamber of Commerce for the sports retail sector, a continuation of the successful BMK funding initiative for e-bikes, cargo bikes, and the new grant category for folding bikes with or without electric assistance was decided at the beginning of 2023. This allows individuals, businesses, associations, and municipalities to benefit from a grant of 1,000 euros for (e-)cargo bikes and 600 euros for (e-)folding bikes. The respective dealer’s contribution to the grant is 180 euros (gross) per bike, deducted from the respective invoice amount as a grant requirement (grant information in german here). For businesses, associations, and municipalities who purchase at least 5 units of (e-)cargo bikes, (e-)folding bikes, and e-bikes, the grant is in the form of a lump sum. Private individuals can apply individually for the purchase of (e-)folding bikes and (e-)cargo bikes, thus these e-bike grants are only available for corporate fleets.
According to the BMK interim report of August 2023 (german: BMK-Zwischenbericht von August 2023) over 9,300 grant applications have already been submitted this year. More than 4,800 applications for E-bikes, around 2,500 applications for cargo bikes, and around 2,000 applications for folding bikes. A prerequisite for the folding bike grant is that, in addition to the dealer’s contribution on the invoice, the maximum folding size of 110 x 80 x 40 cm is adhered to, and private individuals have an annual public transport pass to strengthen the folding bike as a multimodal, emissions-free solution for commuters.
Comparison of Bicycle Grants by Federal Provinces
In the federal province comparison of previous grant submissions relative to the population size, Vorarlberg leads in terms of E-bikes ahead of Salzburg. For cargo bikes, the highest number of applications relative to population comes from Burgenland before Styria, and for folding bikes, Vienna is out in front.
In application numbers, this means that in terms of cargo bikes, there were 485 in the most populous federal state, Vienna (1.99 million inhabitants), compared to 170 in the small state of Burgenland (300,000 inhabitants). With around 580 cargo bikes, Lower Austria (1.72 million inhabitants) is ahead of Styria (1.27 million inhabitants) with around 540 in absolute numbers.
For businesses, associations, and municipalities, the E-bike numbers are as follows: Vorarlberg (410,000 inhabitants) had over 1,000, while nearly 2 million Viennese residents applied for grants for nearly 2,500 E-bikes. Upper Austria (1.53 million inhabitants) had 750, Salzburg (570,000 inhabitants) had 600, and Carinthia (570,000 inhabitants) and Tyrol (777,000 inhabitants) had around 550 electric bicycles, placing them in the mid-range.
For the first time this year, a grant program for folding bikes was introduced. In Vienna, over 1,000 grants were requested, followed by Lower Austria with approximately 280 and Upper Austria with about 200 folding bikes. (Population figures according to Statistics Austria, July 2023)
19.2 million euros klimaaktiv mobil funding for cycling
A look back at the BMK Performance Report from 2022 (german: BMK-Leistungsbericht 2022) shows that the focus among 190 approved climate-relevant projects was on cycling, with a total of 87 implementations. The goal is to prevent and reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the mobility sector. In order to enable the shift to environmentally friendly means of transportation, a total of 67.8 million euros in grant funding was made available by klimaaktiv mobil in 2022. Of this, approximately 65.6 million euros came from national funds of the BMK.
The total amount of klimaaktiv mobil grants for the three years 2020-2022 is presented here (Performance Report, Table 1):
Nearly half of all approved projects in the year 2023 were related to cycling. A total of 19.2 million euros in funding were provided for this purpose. This allowed for the construction of a total of 312 kilometres of new cycling infrastructure and 3,000 bicycle parking facilities. The “Österreich radelt” (Austria cycles) campaign, with over 36,000 enthusiastic participants and more than 29 million cycled kilometres in 2022, is also supported. In the education sector, a total of 245 klimaaktiv mobil cycling instructors were certified in 2022, and around 2,900 klimaaktiv mobil cycling courses for approximately 47,000 children were funded.
The funding for the expansion of cycling and pedestrian infrastructure has been significantly increased in recent years, reaching a peak of 67 million euros in 2023 (as shown in the graphic from the 2022 Performance Report above).
Large grant amounts for cycling infrastructure in Vienna
As part of the klimaaktiv mobil funding program for 2023, the city of Vienna is receiving a grant of approximately 28 million euros for roughly 50 submitted projects (press release in german) with a total investment of more than 57 million euros, to be implemented over the next two years. This represents around 50% of the total project funding. In Vienna, major projects such as the remodelling of the Praterstraße and the new cycle-priority street in the Argentinierstraße are in progress. In 2022, the city’s investments were subsidised by approximately 25%, resulting in a grant of around 7 million euros. A similar grant amount was awarded in 2021. In the years prior, grants ranged from one to 1.5 million euros.
Rendering of the Praterstraße bike lane reconstruction in Vienna with cycle superhighway heading out of the city. (Image: Zoom VP)
Cycle Competence member Radlobby Wien points out that the funding share in Vienna’s cycling infrastructure budget has significantly increased from the previous 15% to 50%, resulting in a decrease in the city of Vienna’s own funds in relation. Radlobby suggests that the increased federal funds be reinvested in cycling infrastructure. This would effectively increase investments from 28 million euros to 35 million euros, leading to further improvements in Vienna’s cycling network.
Cycling as an Economic Factor with Current Figures
To assess the current developments in cycling from an economic perspective, the 2009 study “Wirtschaftsfaktor Radfahren” (Economic Factor Cycling) was revised by the BMK in 2022. Current numbers and facts illustrate the diverse positive effects of the cycling industry by federal state in 2019 (Economic Factor Cycling, BMK 2022, Figure 7 from the 2022 Performance Report).
The complete klimaaktiv mobil Performance Report with a detailed overview of the klimaaktiv mobil funding balance for the year 2022 is available for download here (german).