Why Electric Bikes Are A Game-Changer For Cycle To Work Schemes

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03/07/2024
7 mins

The Cycle to Work scheme continues to be a popular option for commuters who want to cut their carbon footprint and enhance their health. The introduction of electric bikes (eBikes) has added an exciting twist, making two-wheeled travel more appealing to a broader audience.

In this article, we’ll explore why eBike travel could be a great initiative for your employees, and why they’re such a game-changer for Cycle to Work schemes.

What Is An eBike?

An electric bike is just like a regular bicycle, but it comes with a battery and motor for assistance. This lets riders still get a workout while enjoying a helpful boost for an easier ride.

How Do eBikes Work?

With an eBike, the electric motor assists the cyclist while pedalling, reducing the effort required. Riders can choose the level of assistance through a power mode on a control unit. There are three main components:

  • Motor: This helps the rider while they pedal, and can be in the front, rear, or inside the bike hub
  • Battery: Powers the motor and is rechargeable
  • Display: Shows the battery level, distance travelled, and speed.

How Much Do eBikes Cost?

The cost of an eBike varies depending on style and manufacturer. Some start at £500, while premium models can go up to £3,500. Cyclescheme reports that most participants get an eBike at £3,000. But with the salary sacrifice repayments, users typically save between 25-39% of this cost from their National Insurance deductions.

Can Employees Get An Electric Bike Through Cycle To Work Scheme?

Absolutely! Electric bikes are just as eligible for the Cycle To Work scheme as regular bicycles. There used to be a £1,000 limit on the package employees could buy through a bike to work scheme, which often made eBikes too expensive to be included.

But since the UK government lifted this limit, your employees have a great opportunity to save money on a new electric bike and accessories.

Which Cycle To Work Schemes Offer Electric Bikes?

Due to their popularity, the majority of the UK’s leading Cycle To Work Scheme providers offer Electric Bikes. These include:

What Type Of eBike Can Employees Get Through Cycle To Work?

Electric versions are available for most standard two-wheeled bicycles, including off-road, hybrid, single-speed, BMX, and road bikes.

For those who may not initially consider cycling, there are options that make biking more accessible and inclusive for all abilities and situations. These include:

  • Hybrid and folding bikes for day-to-day convenience
  • Electric road bikes for enthusiasts
  • Off-road/mountain eBikes for those who like to get out at the weekend
  • E-cargo bikes for carrying heavy loads.

Are Electric Scooters Covered Under Cycle To Work Schemes?

Some Cycle To Work schemes will allow employees to purchase an electric scooter for commuting, but not all. That’s why it’s important to find the right scheme to sign your business up to. For example, you can’t buy a micro scooter through Cyclescheme, but Halfords E-mobility scheme offers scooters as well as eBikes.

Nadeem Farid Head of Employee Benefits at Drewberry

Thinking about promoting eBikes to your employees through Cycle To Work scheme? It’s easy to set up when you’ve got our friendly experts at your side. Give us a call on 02074425880 or email us help@drewberry.co.uk to get started.

Nadeem Farid
Head of Health & Wellbeing Benefits

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The Benefits Of An Electric Bike Cycle To Work Scheme

The Cycle to Work scheme, designed to promote bicycle commuting through tax incentives, has seen a surge in participation due to the inclusion of eBikes. It’s made them more accessible to a broader range of employees due to the tax relief and spread payments.

Benefits For Employers

Here’s how your business can reap the rewards of a Cycle To Work eBike Scheme:

1. A More Inclusive Option

eBikes are more accessible to a wider range of employees, including those who might have been deterred by the physical demands of traditional cycling. This inclusivity means that more people can take advantage of the scheme and adopt a greener way of commuting.

2. Financial Savings

As more employees get Cycle To Work eBikes, the more your business saves on National Insurance contributions. In fact, you can save up to 13.8% on your contributions for every employee who hops on the cycling train. On average, that’s £138 saved for every £1,000 you handle through an eBike salary sacrifice. Take a look at what you could save with the employer calculator.

3. A Healthier Workforce

Promoting eBike commuting isn’t just good for the environment; it also supports employee health and wellbeing. Contrary to the belief that eBikes diminish the health benefits of cycling, they still offer improvements in physical fitness. A healthier workforce leads to increased productivity and lower healthcare costs for your organisation.

4. Eco-Friendly Impact

With growing concerns about the environment, eBikes offer an eco-friendly way to commute. They produce zero emissions and have a smaller carbon footprint compared to cars (a whopping 95%, in fact) contributing to cleaner air and a reduced impact on the planet. By offering an environmentally friendly way to commute, you help to promote sustainability and reduce the overall carbon footprint of your business.

5. Simplified Parking

Parking a nightmare at your office? eBikes offer a space-saving solution, and their inclusion into the Cycle To Work scheme addresses the common barriers that might have deterred people from commuting by bike.

The cost savings, coupled with the health and environmental benefits, make eBikes an attractive addition to the scheme, ensuring that it remains a sustainable and accessible commuting option for the future.

Each Cycle To Work scheme provider has their own conditions, so make sure they offer electric bikes as an option before committing to them.

If you’re overwhelmed by your options, give us a call on 02074425880, or email help@drewberry.co.uk, and our friendly experts will find the best scheme for you.

Richard Noble
Senior Employee Benefits Consultant

Benefits For Employees

eBikes are transforming the daily commute into a more enjoyable and less strenuous experience. Here’s how they can benefit your workforce:

1. Tackle Hills And Long Distances

One of the biggest obstacles to commuting by traditional bicycle is the effort required to conquer steep hills or cover lengthy routes. eBikes provide pedal-assist, making uphill climbs a breeze and long distances more manageable. This means your team can arrive at the office feeling less fatigued and more refreshed.

2. Weather Resilience

Commuting on a traditional bike in adverse weather conditions can be challenging. But eBike riders can maintain a consistent speed, even in headwinds or light rain, thanks to the electric motor’s assistance.

3. No-Sweat Commute

Arriving at work after breaking a sweat is a common concern for many commuters. eBikes allow employees to control the level of assistance, so they can maintain a more comfortable pace and arrive feeling fresh, making it a practical choice for professionals who want to look their best.

4. Reduce Physical Strain

Cycling to work every day can be physically demanding, especially for employees who are less fit or have health issues. eBikes allow riders to set the level of exertion that suits their needs, reducing the physical strain while still providing health benefits.

5. Financial Savings

eBikes are now a more affordable choice within the Cycle to Work scheme, thanks to removal of the £1,000 package limit and the tax relief that comes with the salary sacrifice repayments. Riders can also avoid parking hassles and costly train fares, especially with rising fuel prices and other car-related costs.

How To Set Up An Electric Bike Cycle To Work Scheme

Setting up an electric cycle-to-work scheme is similar to implementing a standard cycle-to-work program, but with a focus on electric bikes.

Before putting a scheme in place, you need to think about why you are doing it. Is it to improve employee engagement? Do you want to become more environmentally friendly as a business? Whatever the reason, knowing why you want to provide the benefit will help you understand whether it has been a success later on.

Once you know why you are adding the perk to your employee benefits package, you need to look at:

Choosing the Right Provider

Choosing the right provider is vital to making the benefit a success. Look for those that offer a range of electric bike options. This will help ensure that models fit the different needs of your employees, from city riding to longer distances. Having different options will help to encourage employees to take part.

When looking at providers, it’s also important to think about:

  • Their reputation
  • How easy is their set up process?
  • What support they offer you and your employees?

Register With A Provider

Once you have decided which scheme is suitable for your business, you can register with them. Or, if you outsource your benefits to a third party, ask them to set the scheme up on your behalf. The scheme will take you, or your benefits consultant, through the necessary steps to get your electric bike scheme up and running.

Launch Your eBike Scheme

Once you’ve registered with your chosen provider, it’s time to let your employees know about the exciting new perk. Launch the scheme with an emphasis on electric bikes, offering resources on safe and effective use. Use channels such as:

  • Email
  • One to ones
  • Staff meetings
  • Annual pay reviews
  • Interviews.

Highlight the unique benefits that eBikes offer over traditional bikes, including ease of commuting, environmental impact, and potential savings on transportation costs. Ensure that you send regular and consistent communications about your new scheme to ensure you get the best uptake.

Measure Engagement & Regularly Review

Your job isn’t done once the benefit is live. It’s important that you continuously monitor the success of it. Are employees engaging with it? If not, why not? Are you sending enough communications about it? By regularly reviewing the benefit you can measure success. If things aren’t working as you’d hoped, you can look at making changes.

Setting up a Cycle To Work Scheme, electric focused or not, is a great benefit to offer your staff. If you want to find out more about schemes in general take a look at our Cycle To Work Scheme: Employers Complete Guide >>.

Nick Nelms
Senior Consultant, Employee Benefits

Boosting Your Business’s Green Credentials With eBikes

As an employer, promoting eBikes through your bike to work scheme is a great opportunity to enhance your green credentials and promote your business’s commitment to sustainability. Plus, if you’re looking to become a B Corp, your overall environmental impact will be a big factor. Here’s how eBikes can keep your business green and lean:

Install eBike Facilities

Boost your eco-friendly reputation by offering eBike amenities like safe storage, charging stations, and repair services. This not only supports those using eBikes but also motivates other staff members to view eBikes as a practical commuting choice. Keep in mind that e-bikes can be heavy, so hauling them upstairs may not be a practical daily storage solution.

Implement Green Workplace Initiatives

By promoting an eBike Cycle To Work scheme as part of your overall green workplace efforts and sustainability programs, you’re showing your commitment to being environmentally responsible. This means you can set goals for sustainability, keep track of and share your environmental impacts, and get your employees actively involved in green initiatives.

Set An Example

When employers actively support and encourage the use of eBikes, they’re setting a positive example for their employees. If your leadership team prioritises sustainable commuting, it inspires staff to do the same, strengthening a culture of sustainability.

Electric Bike Cycle To Work Scheme FAQs

  • How much does it cost to set up an electric bike Cycle To Work Scheme?

    Cycle To Work Schemes are a cost neutral benefit, so as an employer, it doesn’t cost you anything to implement or run.

    Cycle Schemes are a salary sacrifice benefit. This means your employee agrees to exchange some of their income for a non-cash benefit. In this case, an electric bike. As the employer, you pay for the bike and any equipment upfront and then the employee pays you back from their gross salary each month.

  • Is there a limit on how much an employee can spend on a eBike?

    In the UK, the Cycle to Work Scheme traditionally had a price cap of £1,000, which covered most regular bikes. However, recognising the higher cost of electric bikes and their growing popularity, many cycle-to-work scheme providers have adjusted their policies to accommodate these more expensive models.

    Several providers now offer schemes with no upper price limit. This change allows employers and employees to choose higher-priced electric bikes that better meet their commuting needs. It’s important to check with your specific scheme provider, as the terms can vary.

  • Is there any eligibility criteria when setting up an electric bike scheme?

    To participate in a UK electric cycle-to-work scheme, employers must be registered with HMRC and comply with tax regulations to facilitate salary sacrifice arrangements. All types of businesses, including public, private, and charities, are eligible. Employees eligible for the scheme must be on the payroll and paid through PAYE, ensuring their post-salary sacrifice earnings do not fall below the National Minimum Wage. Some employers may also require employees to have a minimum service period. Additionally, contractual changes are necessary to implement the salary sacrifice agreement.

Electrify Your Benefits With Drewberry

Research on commuting habits suggests that if eBikes continue to rise in popularity (along with more safe cycle paths) more than 25% of UK workers will eventually choose cycling for their work trips. That’s around 15 million people pedalling to the office, significantly reducing air pollution and traffic congestion, along with improving public health.

Your business can be part of that change by offering a bike to work scheme. And as it’s a cost-neutral and sought-after workplace benefit, there’s no reason not to.

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Drewberry Ltd registered office: Telecom House, Preston Road, Brighton, England, BN1 6AF. Telephone 0208 432 7333

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