Valentí Junyent, the Mayor of Manresa and the Minister of Nature and the Environment for Catalonia, Spain, has just announced that the regional government will distribute electric bicycles to 20 different local municipalities in Catalonia. The electric bikes are to serve as convenient transportation for city employees while on the job.
According to the press release, the use of electric bicycles in delivering municipal services is part of a strategic governmental shift toward promoting clean mobility and energy efficiency. This push from the government is one piece of a plan detailed in published white papers written by the regional planning agency in 2012.
Junyent says that the use of electric bicycles will have not only reduce air pollution, but will also reduce noise pollution versus other transportation methods and make transportation more peaceful and enjoyable for everyone.
Barcelona is playing catch-up to Spanish capital Madrid, which was the first city to launch an all-electric bike sharing system, BiciMAD. Barcelona’s bike share, which is called Bicing, does include electric bikes in its fleet but also offers traditional bicycles, and those who choose to ride electric Bicing bikes have to pay an extra €14 per year in addition to €0.45 for the first half hour of each ride, whereas non-electric Bicing riders get the first half-hour free.
With healthy government support for electric bikes in Barcelona, the city could see faster growth in electric bikes sales and could possibly become the Spanish capital of electric bikes, although this is a title Barcelona clearly doesn’t want, since Catalonia is aggressively pursuing secession from Spain.