Frequently asked questions about electric bicycles

An electric bikes pays off quickly but right now you might have lots of questions. We’ve compiled the most common of these questions here.

Getting an electric bicycle

Yes. Your local credit union will provide a loan to buy an electric bicycle. In fact, Cork Credit Unions are a member of the we-bike stakeholder team.

Yes. Electric bicycles can be bought using the Cycle to Work scheme. The maximum amount that can be covered by the scheme for an electric bicycle is €1,500. This is about the price of an entry-level electric bicycle or will help you with the cost of a more expensive one.

The answer is more and more. Electric bicycles account of a third of bicycles sold in Germany, more than 40% of those sold in the Netherlands and a majority of all bicycles sold in Belgium.

So many are being sold, in fact, that it’s hard to keep track. In 2017, industry estimates were that 50 million electric bicycles would be sold in the European Union between then and 2030. It’s now estimated that 150 million will be sold between now and then.

A good entry-level electric bicycle costs about €1,799. A mid-level electric bicycle costs about €2,759–3,250. Charging an electric to full capacity every week for a year will cost about €5. Maintenance costs are the same as those for an ordinary bicycle.

Electric bicycle sales have increased steadily over the last decade and are now growing even faster. Industry research sees no sign of this abating or a slow down in growth.

The sudden increase in sales of electric bicycles is linked to changing social attitudes and government policies on transport. International research indicates that electric bicycles provide opportunities for people who would not otherwise consider conventional cycling.

Perceptions also change among those who purchase an electric bicycle, with cycling replacing journeys that would previously have been made by car.

To join a credit union, you need to hold what is known as the “common bond”. For most credit unions, the “common bond” is the area where members live – potential members will need to live or work within a local area. For other credit unions, the “common bond” might be the occupation members work in.

Once you have identified the appropriate credit union within your “common bond”, be that where you live or work, opening an account is straightforward and convenient. You will need:

  • Proof of ID: A current valid passport or valid drivers’ licence.
  • Proof of Address: A utility bill, a local authority document, an official document for a government body, or a bank/building society statement dated within the last three months.
  • Evidence of PPS Number: A document from the Department of Social Protection, payslip or the Revenue Commissioners.

Electric bicycles can be bought in most bicycle shops. There are also two specialist electric bicycle dealers in Cork. These are City View Wheels on Blarney Street (who are a member of the we-bike stakeholders’ team) and GreetAer on Monaghan Road.

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If you have a question that isn’t answered here, don’t think twice about emailing us at We’ll be happy to help in any way we can. Don’t forget too to read our guide to getting an electric bicycle in Cork.