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Free electric bikes? How many US cities and states are handling e-bike subsidies

Electric bikes have proven to be one of the most effective tools available for getting drivers out of cars and into more affordable, sustainable, and healthier forms of transportation. And as more cities come to that realization, we’re seeing a growing number of e-bike rebates and other subsidy programs rolling out nationwide.

Why would cities and states offer such subsidies for e-bikes?

As it turns out, the subsidies can pay for themselves many times over.

E-bikes don’t just benefit those that use them. They actually benefit everyone. Cities and states across the country are battling with traffic woes, let alone all the pollution and urban grime created by cars.

When even a small fraction of drivers switch to bicycles or e-bikes, the impacts on traffic are profound. One study found that a 10% shift from cars to bikes resulted in a 40% reduction in traffic. Other studies have shown that when e-bikes and e-scooters aren’t available, commute times for everyone in cities grow due to increased traffic.

Add in the health benefits of riding an e-bike (yes, studies have also shown they offer nearly the same exercise benefits as pedal bikes), and you’ve got some serious advantages associated with a shift towards two-wheeled transportation. From cleaner cities to lower healthcare costs and improved quality of life, the advantages just keep racking up.

That’s why so many cities and states across the US have started implementing their own e-bike rebates and other subsidy programs.

eunorau meta275 electric bike

With decent budget-friendly e-bikes generally costing between $1,000-$2,000 and nicer bike shop e-bikes closer to the $3,000-$5,000 range, many local subsidies have targeted lower-income individuals to help them afford more expensive electric bikes.

A new program is giving out free e-bikes to low-income residents of Berkeley, California. The program is currently limited to 50 bikes on loan for a year, but a broader statewide program in California will use a $13M fund allocated for e-bike subsidies to help thousands of California residents afford a new e-bike.

Top comment by Kenz300 x

Liked by 13 people

Bicycles, ebikes, electric cargo bicycles, robo taxis and escooters are great options for last mile, short distance travel. Reduced transportation costs and fossil fuels free transportation.

Cities need to do more to encourage people to ride bicycles by providing SAFE, PROTECTED BIKE LANES and trails. Every adult and child should own a bicycle and ride it regularly. Bicycles are healthy exercise and fossil fuels free transportation. Electric bicycles are bringing many older adults back to cycling. Ride to work, ride to school, ride for health or ride for fun. Children should be able to ride a bicycle to school without having to dodge cars and trucks. Separated and protected bike lanes are required. It will also make the roads safer for automobile drivers. Transportation planners and elected officials need to encourage people to walk, bike and take public transportation. Healthy exercise and fossil fuels free transportation. In the future cities will be redesigned for people not cars. Crazy big parking lots will be transformed with solar canopies generating free energy from the sun.

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Denver’s own e-bike rebate program is perhaps one of the most famous in the US, originally offering $400 off the purchase of a new e-bike. The program quickly exhausted its funding before being renewed this year with a slightly lower $300 rebate on new e-bikes. Vouchers will be given out in a half dozen rounds throughout the year, with the first round already being scooped up within 20 minutes of going live.

The state of Colorado will soon be playing catch-up by launching its own e-bike incentive program.

Juiced e-bike rebate

Colorado may soon beat California to the punch with a statewide rebate program, but it won’t be the first. That honor goes to Vermont’s statewide e-bike incentive program. The Vermont program may have helped inspire similar statewide e-bike rebates that are currently being proposed in New York and Oregon.

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Avatar for Micah Toll Micah Toll

Micah Toll is a personal electric vehicle enthusiast, battery nerd, and author of the Amazon #1 bestselling books DIY Lithium Batteries, DIY Solar Power, The Ultimate DIY Ebike Guide and The Electric Bike Manifesto.

The e-bikes that make up Micah’s current daily drivers are the $999 Lectric XP 2.0, the $1,095 Ride1Up Roadster V2, the $1,199 Rad Power Bikes RadMission, and the $3,299 Priority Current. But it’s a pretty evolving list these days.

You can send Micah tips at, or find him on Twitter, Instagram, or TikTok.