Live in New York and want to buy an electric bike or e-scooter? A proposed e-bike incentive could cut the price in half, saving you over a thousand dollars with a purchase rebate.
New York e-bike rebate
That’s the idea behind State Senator Julia Salazar’s bill, which would offset 50% of the purchase price of a new electric bicycle or electric scooter.
The incentive would be capped at $1,100, meaning any e-bike over $2,200 would still only qualify for a rebate of $1,100.
This marks major progress for New York, a state that only legalized e-bikes in NYC two years ago.
The one paragraph bill creates what is referred to as the Ride Clean rebate and is modeled after the Drive Clean program for electric cars in the state that has operated for years.
The bill is light on details and has no limitations based on area of residence or income level. Included in the rebate are class 1, 2, and 3 electric bicycles that can reach up to 28 mph (45 km/h) with up to 750 watts (1 hp) of power.
Electric scooters are also listed as eligible, but no speed or power restrictions are noted for electric scooters. There is also no wording clarifying whether the incentive applies to standing electric scooters (like those used by shared mobility operators such as Bird) or Vespa-style seated electric scooters.
The proposed New York rebate comes shortly after a proposed national e-bike tax credit was scrapped from the climate-focused policies included in the Inflation Reduction Act.
As Senator Salazar explained:
“When the federal government falls short it really does fall on the state to step up and take responsibility.”
Vermont became the first state to offer a state-level electric bicycle purchase incentive, and New York could be next.
The bill passed in the New York State Senate with a 60-3 vote, but stalled in the Assembly after getting stuck in committee since earlier this year.
Some state politicians have expressed hope that the bill will progress in the next session, enjoying the same popular support it garnered when it flew through the State Senate.
These are exactly the types of programs that states should be implementing. When the federal government can’t get it done, it should happen locally.
Denver also undertook its own e-bike incentive that became massively popular, underscoring just how much demand there is for these types of local e-bike rebates.
As someone who travels in my city almost exclusively by two wheels, I’m keenly aware of just how pivotal e-bikes and e-scooters are to changing the transportation landscape. Making them more affordable is the first step to getting drivers out of cars and onto more sustainable, more space efficient and healthier forms of transportation.
When an e-bike costs several thousand dollars, it’s easy to ignore it as a viable option. But when that same e-bike gets its price cut in half, the equation is changed for so many more people. Rad Power Bike’s fanciest $1,999 electric bike is suddenly yours for under a thousand bucks. Or an already low-priced $799 Lectric XP Lite e-bike is in your garage for $400. That’s pretty amazing and seriously opens the door to lower income commuters that can’t afford higher e-bike costs.
I’ve written extensively in the past about how easy it is to get out of the four-wheeled box and replace many of your local trips with e-bikes.
And it’s not just e-bikes, either. Electric motorcycles. Electric mopeds. Electric scooters. Electric skateboards. I own them all and I use them all the time for my own personal transportation. Each one cost me a mere fraction of a Tesla or whatever fancy electric car you’re hearing about today. And each one of them gets me around the city faster, using less energy, for less money, and with a bigger smile on my face when I arrive.
This can be you, too. And with more local incentive programs, that will become easier than ever.
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