They don’t hide it from Ministry of the Environment, where with the resources moved by the relaunch decree they expect to succeed co-finance the purchase of approximately 350,000 bikes, e-bikes and scooters. In these days, the race to the bicycle shops that has affected the major cities has been a rather clear response to the interest aroused by article 229 of the Relaunch decree. The boom in sales, however, has led many to wonder how many in the future will really be taken for granted. And it is no coincidence that, in recent days, the Minister for Infrastructure Paola De Micheli and the Minister for the Environment Sergio Costto have placed the emphasis on having more funds available to 120 million currently planned.
But let’s go in order.
Bike bonus, what it is
The mobility voucher includes a contribution for the purchase of bicycles (also with pedal assistance) and vehicles for personal mobility with mainly electric propulsion (such as scooters) and for the use of shared mobility services for individual use, excluding cars .
The contribution is equal to 60% of the expenditure, up to a ceiling of 500 euros. All adult citizens with residence in the regional and provincial capitals, in municipalities with a population of over 50,000 inhabitants and in municipalities belonging to metropolitan cities can apply for it. It is about 26 million people. All those who buy a bike (or other means) from May 4 onwards can request it: as long as the dedicated web application is not launched, the beneficiary will be reimbursed.
It means that to obtain the contribution it is necessary to keep the expense document, which must be an invoice. This will then be attached to the application to be submitted through the web application, when it will be operational, to obtain the discount. Once the application has entered into force, the interested parties will go to the platform, report the medium or service they intend to purchase and obtain the digital shopping voucher, which will be delivered to authorized suppliers.
The knot of funds
The mobility bonus is financed with 120 million euros. How many purchases do they correspond to? It depends on the type of vehicles purchased, which have very variable prices: the average price of a ‘classic’ bike is less than 400 euros, that of an e-bike is 1,600 euros (data Ancma). If only the buyers of the most expensive vehicles, who are entitled to the ‘cut’ of 500 euros, were asking for the discount, the fund is enough to finance 240,000 vehicles. Assuming an average bonus of 250 euros, the fund is enough for 480,000 vehicles.
In general, the Ministry of the Environment estimates that around 350 thousand means will be financed, for an average discount of around 340 euros. According to Confindustria Ancma, the association of producers, incentives on the market should lead to sales growth in the order of 400 thousand pieces throughout 2020. In short, the numbers are quite similar, but the figures are much lower than those of the market Italian interior.
In 2019 (Acma data) 1,713 million vehicles were sold between bicycles and e-bikes, with a growth of 7% (ie 118 thousand units) compared to 2018. In short, even if a stationary market was envisaged, incentives would be enough for a fifth of bicycles sold in Italy. It must be said, however, that the decree already excludes more than half of the Italian population, that is, all the people who live outside the cities and territories receiving the bonus, and therefore the reference market is smaller.
The request to increase the funds
Now the decree is being examined by the Chambers. The Ministry of the Environment and the Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport have already asked parliamentarians to increase the resources available to the fund. The Minister of the Environment Costa hopes to replenish the fund with 50 million euros, which would bring the available resources to 170 million. They would not be enough, but clearly the coverage would become wider: where 350,000 vehicles were previously financed, with the same average expenditure, almost half a million would be incentivized.
The click day hypothesis
The most probable scenario however, given the lines at the shops, it remains that all the funds must be used up within a few hours, in a real click day. Pending the implementation decree that will regulate the functioning of the mobility bonus, the idea of the Ministry of the Environment is to process invoices and discount requests in chronological order: therefore, once the platform is operational, who will first ask for the generation of the voucher (or refund of invoices for means already paid) will be satisfied.
This, however, risks making those who have bought a bicycle these days, relying on the possibility of being paid hundreds of euros, you risk never seeing that money, if they move too late. A delicate issue, which the Ministry of the Environment is currently considering how to deal with. On the one hand, we are considering whether to give priority to those who have already bought the means.
On the other hand, this would risk discriminating against those who do not have the money to buy a vehicle by paying in full from their own pocket and therefore are obliged to wait for the launch of the online platform, which allows them to show up in the shop with the “voucher” already printed. . At the ministry, however, they make no secret that even the depletion of resources related to the mobility bonus in a few hours would not necessarily be seen as bad: it would be a sign of success and would give more strength to those who hope in the future (and perhaps already year) to be able to refinance the fund.
An excellence of Made in Italy
The numbers of the bike sector in Italy are respectable. According to Ancma data, the cycle sector companies are around 250 and invoice 1.25 billion. They employ 12,000 direct and indirect employees, with over 60% of the production destined for export. The sales network has 2,600 stores, with 6,000 employees and a total turnover of around 1.35 billion.
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