on electric bikes they sell their cars

“We used our car three times last year. It is no longer useful. » Céline, her husband and their 3 and a half year old daughter say goodbye to theirs Clio. Every morning, this 39-year-old mother drops her daughter off at school on her electrically assisted bicycle (VAE). They nicknamed him Little Thunder, like the horse in the cartoon Yakari. The little girl sits in the back on a pram.

The mother then continues on her way to her workplace. It is a 6 km journey to Rennes. “I have two hills to climb. I couldn’t see myself doing that daily on a muscle bikeassures Céline, who also has one. I want to go fast and not sweat. »

“We don’t have a garage”

At the end of the day, her husband picks up their daughter on a bicycle (not an electric one). The little girl begins to make the journeys herself on her little bicycle. “We live in the city center. We don’t have a garage, but there is bicycle storage in the building. We left the car in a free parking lot near a subway station,” describes Céline, who moved to Rennes in 2021 after living in the countryside with two cars. When they arrived in the city, they left one. “My husband wanted to get rid of the other pretty quickly. I was more reserved, especially on weekends and holidays. »

It’s been two years since my car only serves me on weekends from time to time and holidays

— Chrystelle, at Nantes

After a year, it is clear that the car has not been used. The couple, who even borrowed it for four months, are getting ready to sell it. On Saturday, Céline takes her daughter to the pony 11 km away on her VAE. Ditto for trips to the swimming pool. For holidays or weekends away, make room for the train, a car borrowed from friends or… bicycles, of course. “The e-bike is really my daily vehicle”, emphasizes this employee.

As for Chrystelle Boucard, 46 years old. At the beginning of the year, after paying €680 for all-risk insurance for her car, she wondered: “Is that helpful? It’s been two years since my car only serves me on weekends from time to time and holidays, notes this technician who lives in Nantes. Today I take all my trips (to work, downtown, to physiotherapy…) on an electric bike. For larger purchases, I use home delivery. »

An economic choice

She looked: if necessary, there will be shared cars or rentals at Super U near her home. Chrystelle even “take a test” by renting a vehicle from Thursday to Monday morning to see if it was playable. “It was €190 for the four day rental. My leased car [crédit-bail] At the moment it costs me €195 a month, excluding insurance and petrol. I have no intention of signing a new contract when this one expires at the end of October,” she summarizes after doing her accounts.

The choice to let go of your car is above all financial: “I see it unused on the street”, she begins. Also environmentally friendly? “Not particularly at first, but I have colleagues who teach me to be more careful”, she slips. At least she is sure of: “With a classic bike, I wouldn’t have done it”, poses Chrystelle.

When she bought her VAE thanks to the support of the Nantes Métropole, the state and a reduction of her cooperative committee, she wanted above all to stop turning around to find a parking space as soon as she went out into Nantes. “Time wasted.” Currently, she, who lives 2 km from her work, rides 80 to 100 km a week on VAE.

Rare occasions? About 660,000 e-bikes were purchased in 2021, accounting for almost a quarter of total bicycle sales. Obviously, some use them mainly for walking or sports. But by 2022, one in five people would consider adopting an electric bike for their daily commute, according to a YouGov survey commissioned by Upway, a company that refurbishes pedelecs.

Since summer 2021, the conversion bonus has also been extended to electric bikes. You can thus get help to acquire one if you scrap your old diesel or petrol car.
ALSO READ. What financial support are you entitled to for buying an electrically assisted bicycle?

“The rise in petrol prices has had no impact on us”

This is what Didier and Claude Mahé did in Saint-Brieuc. They should already be working on an electric bike. For five years for him; ten for her. The couple, who have five grown children, owned two cars. One day their old Twingo collapsed. “We decided not to take another, but to take advantage of the bonus of buying a good electric bike, with hydraulic brakes, fine mechanics and better battery life. » And now Didier, 60, has already covered 1,700 km in the past six months.

“Getting around by bike worked…

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