• Business Business

Residents speechless after e-bike vouchers run out in under 10 minutes: 'It's exciting that people are really interested in this technology'

The popularity of the program, one of 160 across North America, has caused interest in e-bikes to spike.

The popularity of the program, one of 160 across North America, has caused interest in e-bikes to spike.

Photo Credit: iStock

Commuters in one of America's major cities have been showing incredible enthusiasm for a program that makes greener transportation cheaper and more accessible.

As reported in Grist, in 2022, the city of Denver began offering a rebate that could earn residents $300 to $1,400 toward a new electric bike, depending on factors like income and the type of bike they intend to purchase.

The program has been met with unbelievable popularity. In the February 2024 application window, every voucher had been claimed within eight minutes of the site opening. 

The popularity of the program, one of 160 across North America, has caused interest in e-bikes to spike. Denver's success has inspired other municipalities to consider starting programs, and a national tax credit act aptly named the E-BIKE (Electric Bicycle Incentive Kickstart for the Environment) Act has been reintroduced in Congress.

As reported in Grist, this program is a significant win for decarbonization in Denver and represents a cost-saving opportunity for residents.

E-bikes represent a real opportunity for consumers to eliminate car trips. In Denver, most residents drive under 10 miles in one car trip, a feasible distance to take an e-bike. In fact, 43% of bikers surveyed in 2023 said they were using their e-bikes to commute to work or run errands, and 84% of applicants reported using their voucher-bought bike at least once a week.

These vehicles contribute zero carbon to the atmosphere, and in Denver, officials estimate that the program has saved 3,300 metric tons (more than 7 million pounds) of air pollution per year since its introduction in 2022. That's a major win for communities as well, since cleaner air is linked to better health

Furthermore, the rebate and the vehicles that come with it can be a cost-saving measure for those who need it most. The city has begun making a special effort to distribute vouchers through groups serving low-income communities and people of color in Denver to ensure they can access this important benefit.

The vouchers are means-tested, meaning lower-income individuals are eligible for more money in their rebates.

Statements from officials and reactions from news outlets and the community are hopeful and positive.

"It's exciting that people are really interested in this technology," Denver's lead of transportation energy Mike Salisbury told Grist. "Every trip we can convert to an e-bike will be a big climate win."

Sam McCrory, the Denver Streets Partnership advocacy programs manager, told Westword: "People want to use the rebate because it gives them better access to e-bikes. Typically, bikes are a little bit more expensive on average than a normal, acoustic bike, so the rebate really helps with that barrier to entry."

Denver resident Jeff Gonzales told Grist he will likely use the program for his young son when he's old enough to ride: "When the little man gets bigger, we'd probably get another. They're not the cheapest things in the world, so the rebate program certainly helps." 

The next application window for the voucher program will open June 25 at 11 a.m.

Join our free newsletter for cool news and actionable info that makes it easy to help yourself while helping the planet.

Cool Divider