Company bicycle: the future of mobility
The health crisis has revealed the enormous potential of the company bike, already adopted since the deconfinement by many companies. Indeed, the flight from public transportation for transportation that is better suited to social distancing, traffic congestion in France’s major cities and the growing environmental awareness of citizens are prompting companies to reflect on the mobility services they provide to their employees. With company bicycles largely financed by the company (ratios such as 70%/30% have been observed), employees are provided with a top-of-the-range bike for commuting to and from work and are thus encouraged to return to the office on time and in good shape. Cheaper than a Navigo pass or equivalent, the employee has this advantage, which is intended to be a long-term benefit, perhaps one day in the same way as meal tickets and ticket refunds.
Meeting with Gonzague Prouvost, founder of Atout Vélo Pro, a structure that supports cycling players in order to make them shine in marketing and sales and which offers a mobility pack to support companies in the adoption of bicycles in everyday life.
What is Atout Vélo Pro’s first activity?
The 1st activity comes from my training and previous professional experiences. I address foreign companies based mainly in Germany, Switzerland and Austria wishing to develop in France or, conversely, French SMEs interested in conquering the overseas market. I accompany them on the marketing, business development and networking part. I intervene in the bicycle and mobility sector, but I am not closed to other sectors, it just has to correspond to my values related to the environment, quality, durability, usefulness of the product or service.
Why and how to make companies adopt cycling?
The 2nd activity of Atout Vélo Pro was launched at the beginning of 2020, it is linked to my experience in the Paris region where I used to ride my bike every day to be on time for work and to avoid traffic jams. Thanks to my network in the world of cycling, I was able to build a mobility pack for companies wishing to give a green side to their travel policy. Geographically, I mainly target companies in the Pays de la Loire + the Tours region, but with my various contacts, I can also respond to demand in other regions. My goal is to replace business trips made by car, either by traditional bicycle (-5 km) or by electrically assisted bicycle (-10 km). I also listed with the companies, the brakes to the practice of cycling as a means of professional travel. I respond to each of these issues (theft, parking, security, transport) with adapted products in my pack.
What types of bicycles for the employees of a company?
Concerning the bike, I propose with the help of wholesalers both traditional and electric assisted bikes. 2 financing possibilities: cash purchase or long term rental (24 or 36 months). For novice cyclists, I recommend a robust, versatile and low-maintenance bike. The bikes can be in the company’s colors, thus becoming a real marketing support.
How to respond to the problem of bicycle theft?
Bicycle theft is a subject that touches me more particularly after having worked for 10 years for a major German manufacturer of helmets and locks. I propose for this purpose all types of locks, bike marking (mandatory in 2021) and a tracker offer to geolocate the bike.
Bicycle parking is a real issue for companies, it allows to have fixed points anchored in the ground to securely attach your bike. Some shelters also offer integrated electric recharging for EABs.
What are the elements for the safety and comfort of velotafeurs?
Concerning safety, the cyclist must be seen and must ride protected, he must wear a helmet and especially in winter adapted clothing. Another important aspect is that the cyclist has to carry more and more things, there are now very good accessories to have on the bike (computer bags, shopper, phone holder) and this safely.
What are the strong arguments for moving the company to cycling?
Here are a few arguments that will make a lot of companies switch to cycling :
- Cycling increases productivity! Employees are on time because they no longer suffer from congestion and traffic problems, they are less sick because they are more active. We work on the well-being of employees by offering them the opportunity to do sports on a daily basis.
- It gives a good image of the company. Consumers expect brands to be engaged in all aspects of their ecosystem. For the employer-brand, it is also a real plus that reinforces a corporate culture and pride of belonging.
- The bike is also a marketing support when it carries the brand’s colors and logo. By traveling, the employee offers visibility to the brand, which feeds its notoriety and image.
Namely, many tax advantages exist when the company invests in company bicycles for its employees. The employee also benefits from a mobility package to compensate for his or her bicycle trips.
All the elements are now in place to take the bicycle step and offer a form of mobility other than the car or public transit, and COVID-19 has also accelerated the phenomenon.