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May 15, 2023

PeopleForBikes’ New E-Bike Incentive Design Tool

By: Noa Banayan, director of federal affairs, Ashley Seaward, director of state + local policy, and Kyler Blodgett, state + local policy analyst

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The new resource includes lessons, best practices, and sample legislation for bike advocates, industry members, and policymakers to create electric bicycle incentive programs.

As electric bicycle incentive programs gain popularity in states and cities nationwide, PeopleForBikes tracks, advocates for, consults on, and learns from each new proposal. After compiling top lessons and best practices, we are proud to launch our Electric Bicycle Incentive Toolkit for advocates, retailers, and policymakers across the United States. The toolkit offers a foundation to make it easier to propose, design, and implement incentive programs while considering each communities’ unique needs and governmental structures.

Resources you’ll find in the toolkit: 

  • Sample legislative language for standard e-bike incentive and grant programs
  • Comparison of existing incentive programs
  • Lessons learned from data-backed incentive programs
  • Best practices and FAQs for incentive programs

Access the Electric Bicycle Incentive Toolkit

We invite advocates, retailers, and policymakers across all levels of government to utilize this resource, reach out to us with questions, and borrow what works best for your community in creating an effective, equitable, and popular e-bike incentive program. PeopleForBikes is here to help activate local advocates and bike businesses, work with lobbyists, and implement other tactics to turn these ideas into successful legislation and programming.

Where are e-bike incentives working?

Denver, Colorado, continues to make headlines with the wide-reaching success of its e-bike rebate program. PeopleForBikes collaborated with Ride Report and other stakeholders on a white paper outlining results and recommendations based on data from the program. To get involved in advocating for the program, or to learn more, our state partners at Bicycle Colorado created a helpful page of resources. 

After the success of the Denver program, numerous policy makers across the country took note and began introducing their own e-bike incentive programs. As of April 2023, 16 states have introduced legislation to create or renew funding for e-bike incentive programs. E-bike incentives are proving to be one of the most popular and tangible climate policy tools to not only reduce car trips and congestion but also expand low-cost mobility options for people who might not otherwise choose to bike for transportation.

  • Vermont (HB 479): As the first state to create a state-level e-bike incentive program open to the general public, the proposed bill will renew funding for that program. It also creates a new cash for clunkers program (trade in your old car for an e-bike) and the first state-level commercial e-bike incentive in the country, meaning certain businesses can apply. Incentives would apply to the purchase of either a new or used electric bicycle.
  • Oregon (HB 2571): If approved, this bill will offer $400 for general residents and $1,200 for people who make 80% of the area median income for the purchase of an e-bike. The bill proposes investing $6 million for the first two years, $2 million of which would be reserved for low-income participants.
  • New York (S 314): A proposed expansion to the state's Drive Clean EV Rebate Program will offer New York residents a 50% rebate for the purchase of a new electric bicycle, with a maximum rebate of $1,100.
  • Minnesota (HF 2360): Although still going through amendments, this bill seeks to create a $10 million e-bike incentive program. This would propel Minnesota into the ranks of California and Colorado as states with the largest funded e-bike incentive programs in the country. 

You can keep track of e-bike incentive proposals and programs across North America with help from our friends at the Transportation Research and Education Center at Portland State University. To learn more about the e-bike incentive programs currently in place, check out this blog to read about progress in Massachusetts, Hawaii, Connecticut, Colorado, Vermont, and Rhode Island. 

Want to support a national e-bike incentive program? The reintroduced E-BIKE Act (H.R. 1685/S. 881) in Congress would create a federal tax credit for electric bicycles. You can take action to support the E-BIKE Act here. You can also contact the PeopleForBikes team for ideas and support for implementing an e-bike incentive in your community. 

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