E-bike Rebates Still Going Strong

By Kate Agathon

5,502.

Over five thousand more cyclists in the city. Over five thousand less cars sitting in congested Denver traffic. Over five thousand individuals seeking a healthier lifestyle through an alternative mode of transportation.

Since its launch on Earth Day 2022, the City of Denver’s wildly successful e-bike rebate program has resulted in 5,502 (as of May 2) more e-bikes on Denver’s roads and bike lanes.

“The popularity of our e-bike rebate program remains strong,” said Grace Rink, Denver’s Chief Climate Officer. “Transportation is the second largest source of greenhouse gas emissions and number one source of air pollution in Denver. The data is clear – e-bikes help people drive less and that helps Denver meet its ambitious climate action goals.”

According to CASR, e-bike users are replacing, on average, over 100,000 vehicle miles every week. A recent report from Ride Report estimates that e-bikes purchased through this rebate program will reduce 2,000 tons of greenhouse gas emissions per year and save Denver residents nearly $1 million in fuel costs. 

Among e-bike rebate recipients, leaving the car at home in favor of two-wheeled transportation is increasing in practice.

“From the consumer side, our recipients have reported leaving their cars at home more often. Our survey data shows that e-bike riders, on average, bike 26 miles a week. Twenty-two of these miles replace car trips. Anecdotally, many recipients have told us they decided not to purchase a second gas-powered vehicle due to their e-bike purchase,”  said Chelsea Warren, CASR Communications Specialist.

Eligible Denverites will want to mark their calendars for the next round of rebate vouchers occurring later this month- July 25.

Local bike shops

The e-bike rebate program has been beneficial to both consumers and local bike shops. 

Our partner bike shops have been a critical communication channel for the program and e-bikes. There are two crucial components to the success of the program– the rebate and the bike shop. The rebate helps Denverites purchase an e-bike, which has proven to be a mode of transportation that reduces the number of car trips they make. Our partner bike shops are product experts and help the recipient get the right bike for their needs,” said Warren.

“A relationship with a local shop is crucial for getting the bike serviced or asking questions. Getting a person on the right bike and keeping their bike in top working shape is vital to getting them to ride regularly. And riding regularly rather than driving is the goal of the program,” she continued.

Dozens of other cities around the country are hoping to follow Denver’s example.  

E-bike rebate program

Some tweaks have been made since the program debuted. Based on survey data and customer feedback, Denver is trying to make the e-bike rebate program more equitable.

For example, due to high demand, the biggest change to the 2022 program was moving to a limited release model for the rebate vouchers.

In 2023, CASR:

  • Shifted to an 11 AM release window to allow residents without internet at home to use most Denver Public Library branches to access the portal.

  • Earmarked 600 rebate vouchers for residents in Denver’s NEST communities. They are partnering with community-based organizations to get these rebates into the hands of individuals with limited access to the internet, or that face other structural barriers.

  • Due to the increased competition spurred by the e-bike rebate program, the average price of an e-bike purchased through the rebate program dropped from $2,600 to $2,100 in Denver. To get more bikes on the road this year, they lowered the standard rebates and e-cargo bike rebate amounts accordingly.

  • Offered a new adaptive rebate this year for e-bikes for people with disabilities.

Fortunately, the program is funded for several more years with the option to extend the contract with their vendor, APTIM. CASR will continue to tweak the program to meet the needs of the community, including the impact of the upcoming Colorado statewide e-bike rebate program.

Statewide e-bike rebates

Soon, Denverites won’t be the only ones who will have access to e-bike rebates.

In 2022, the Colorado Legislature passed Air Quality Improvement Investments. Consequently,

the Colorado Energy Office is putting together a $12 million program that will provide statewide e-bike rebates to low and moderate-income Coloradoans starting in mid-August 2023

The Colorado Energy Office will open applications for a period of one week each month, then randomly select individuals to receive the rebate after each application round closes. 

Selected applicants will receive a rebate voucher they can redeem at a participating retailer for a discount at the time of e-bike purchase.  Emily Gedeon, CASR Director of Communications and Engagement answered what we anticipated are the most commonly asked questions:

Can both Denver e-bike rebate and statewide e-bike rebate be used simultaneously for an e-bike purchase? 

No, the City of Denver and State of Colorado rebates are not stackable.  Only one rebate is allowed per bike purchase.

Can people who live in Denver apply for both e-bike rebates, or do they just need to choose one? 

Yes, residents of the City and County of Denver can apply for the state rebate. Again, the city and state rebates are not stackable, so the individual would only be able to use one at the time of their bike purchase.

In the simplest terms possible, what are the differences between the two e-bike rebate programs (it should be fairly obvious, Denver and statewide, but some might need to read it plainly stated)?

The amounts are different and who qualifies is different.  Denver has three levels – General Resident, Income Qualified and Adaptive.  The State program is solely based on income – low and moderate.

When will rebate vouchers for both Denver and state programs become available?

The next round of Denver’s rebate vouchers will be available on Tuesday, July 25 at 11 AM. To be notified leading up to and on rebate voucher application release days, please subscribe to Denver’s Office of Climate Action, Sustainability and Resiliency newsletter. You can also bookmark the rebate voucher application portal so you’re ready to go on application release days.

The State of Colorado’s e-bike rebate program is expected to open up in August 2023. Coloradans can check out the Colorado Energy Office’s website for more information and to sign up for a newsletter to be notified about the exact date their rebates will become available: https://energyoffice.colorado.gov/ebike-rebates.

Did you know?

In addition to Denver, some other communities (Avon, Boulder, Edwards, Granby, Gunnison, and La Plata) and counties (Eagle, Garfield, Gunnison, Mesa, and Pitkin) already offer various e-bike incentives.

Additionally, state legislation advancing decarbonization and providing tax credits towards an e-bike purchase may begin in the spring of 2024. 

With the introduction of new programs and initiatives, it will be easier than ever for Coloradans to charge up their rides.



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