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July 13, 2023

Five States Announce New E-Bike Incentive Programs

By: Ashley Seaward, director of state + local policy, and Kyler Blodgett, state + local policy analyst

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Colorado, Maine, Minnesota, Vermont, and Washington are the newest states to encourage e-bike adoption via rebates and tax credit initiatives.

Across the country, more and more states are turning to electric bicycles — and specifically, e-bike incentive programs — to promote sustainable transportation and reduce greenhouse gas emissions and transportation insecurity. Colorado, Maine, Minnesota, Vermont, and Washington are the newest states to encourage e-bike adoption via rebates and tax credit initiatives. These efforts aim to make e-bikes more accessible and affordable, contributing to climate and equity goals. 

Check out a brief overview of each new statewide e-bike incentive program below.

Colorado's Tax Credit for E-Bike Purchases

Colorado's House Bill 1272 focuses on decarbonization and reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the transportation sector. The bill extends and expands tax credits for electric vehicles, including a new tax credit of $500 for all Coloradans towards the purchase of an electric bike. Similar to Denver’s city program, state legislators set up the state program to ensure local bike shops benefit from these tax credits. 

The new statewide tax credit is one piece of a larger climate package — fiscal estimates suggest the program will cost the state around $100 million before it expires in 2033. If the state's economy grows by less than 4% in a given year, however, the e-bike tax credit could be cut in half. Still, Colorado's commitment to incentivizing e-bike adoption represents a significant stride toward achieving its clean energy goals.

Maine’s New E-Bike Incentive Program

While the details are still to be determined, Maine Governor Janet Mills recently approved a bill that expands the state’s electric vehicle rebate program to include electric bicycles. The program’s administrator, the Efficiency Maine Trust, will dedicate up to $500,000 to fund the addition of e-bikes, with the funds drawing directly from existing electric vehicle funding. Maine already funds electric vehicle rebates, this bill merely adds another option with respect to the mobility devices eligible for a rebate.

Minnesota's Statewide E-Bike Rebate Program

Minnesota recently approved a historic $7.8 billion transportation package that includes $4 million over the next two years for a statewide electric bicycle rebate program. The point-of-sale rebate covers $1,500 or 50-75% of the total cost of a new e-bike and safety accessories, based on the individual's income. Notably, 40% of the rebates are reserved for individuals with incomes under $41,000.

Vermont's Diverse E-Bike Incentive Programs

Vermont introduced two new programs to incentivize e-bikes, both of which were recently signed into law. The first is a Replace Your Ride E-Bike Program, which helps low-income Vermonters replace aging, inefficient and high-emitting internal combustion engine vehicles. The incentive amount has increased to up to $5,000 for income-eligible Vermonters. The Replace Your Ride incentive can be combined with other incentives and used to purchase a new or used EV, an e-bike, or a mobility voucher for public transit or other clean transportation options.

The second program, the Electrify Your Fleet program, will launch soon and provide incentives of $2,500 to eligible Vermont municipalities, business entities and nonprofit mobility service organizations for approved electric mobility options. This includes electric bicycles and electric cargo bicycles with a base MSRP of $6,000.00 or less; and adaptive electric cycles with any base MSRP.

Lastly, Vermont's original e-bike incentive program first launched in 2022 and contributed to 279 e-bike purchases before funding was depleted. The program relaunched this summer and offers $400 for standard eBikes and $800 for electric cargo bikes or adaptive electric cycles to eligible Vermonters. Over 140 applications have been approved to date, which amounts to over $70,000. Just over $50,000 in incentive funding remains available.

Washington's Electric Bike Incentive Program

Washington state allocated $5 million for electric bike rebates of up to $1,200, with an additional $2 million for e-bike lending programs. The initiative provides a $300 point-of-sale rebate for all e-bike buyers, while individuals with lower incomes can receive rebates of up to $1,200. To qualify for the higher rebate, households must have an income at or below 80% of their county's median income. Furthermore, the program includes provisions for bike-related equipment to qualify for rebates.

With these five states joining the ranks of e-bike incentive pioneers, there are now ten states in total with statewide programs in place: California, Colorado, Connecticut, Hawaii, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington. 

As electric bicycle incentive programs gain popularity in states and cities nationwide, PeopleForBikes tracks, advocates for, consults on, and learns from each new proposal. If you’re interested in learning about the best practices for launching an e-bike incentive program, check out our new Electric Bicycle Incentive Toolkit for advocates, retailers, and policymakers across the United States. 

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