Portuguese government suggests employees start pedaling

The Portuguese government is recommending its staff try cycling in an effort to reduce carbon dioxide emissions and save money on gas. The government has reduced its vehicle fleet from more than 28,000 in 2010 to fewer than 27,000 last year and now intends to buy 1,200 electric cars. The country was also an early adopter in getting EV charging stations installed. A 2011 study found that Portugal had the lowest average CO2 emissions for its vehicles at just 129 grams per kilometer.

Portugal's new goal is to save 50 million euros ($55 million) and reduce the government fleet's CO2 emissions by 20 percent between 2015 and 2020. That also means getting the over half-a-million government employees to think green and encouraging them to use bikes.

Environment chief Jorge Moreira da Silva said Wednesday the government will set up parking lots for bicycles at government buildings, but it wasn't immediately clear if other incentives would be introduced. Ride-sharing and video conferences will also be recommended. In 2012, Portugal put a number of Nissan Leaf electric vehicles into service as police vehicles.

Commuting to work by bicycle, in some cases, can reduce your car insurance. There's a pro-bike-to-work video from the organizers of Bike To Work Day below.
The AP contributed to this report.

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