Advocating for California E-Bike Incentives

Helping more Californians use bicycling as an alternative to driving.

WHAT’S AT STAKE

Status of the CA E-Bike Incentive Program

Updated August 28, 2023.

Statement from the program administrator, August 2023:

“We are currently launching a multi-phase California E-Bike Incentive Project soft launch which includes retailer onboarding and training, community-based organization (CBO) outreach and community engagement, and the website launch. The next one to two months will be focused on retailer and CBO outreach, which will be happening concurrently leading up to the application window opening.

The soft launch will focus on four regions in California and we have already begun introducing the program to local CBOs and identifying retailers in the regions to make sure they are fully supported with the appropriate program support, trainings and resources.”

More e-bike resources.

HOW YOU CAN HELP

Sign the petition to fund California’s e-bike affordability program:

Dear California Assembly Members, Senators, and Governor Newsom:

California provides rebates of up to $7,000 for people who buy electric cars, but there is no statewide program to help residents purchase the cleanest EV of all: an e-bike.

I support a $10 million allocation to provide grants to help people buy e-bikes. I want a program that prioritizes low-income Californians and supports local bike shops. Please vote yes on AB 117, and please fund the program in the 2021-22 budget.

The California Air Resources Board (CARB) is responsible for the statewide e-bike incentive program, administered by Pedal Ahead. Here are the program basics:
  • The incentives program will have a soft launch in four regions in late 2023. The statewide program will launch a couple months after that and will be open to people living anywhere in California.
  • Qualifying applicants will get a voucher of up to $1,000 for a regular e-bike and up to $1,750 for a cargo or adaptive e-bike. People whose income is under 225% FPL or who live in disadvantaged (DAC) census tracts qualify for additional incentives of up to $250.
  • To qualify for the incentive program, participants’ household income is capped at 300% of the federal poverty level (FPL), with special priority given to those under 225% FPL or living in a disadvantaged community.
  • The program will support the purchase of Class 1 (up to 20 mph, pedal assist only) and Class 2 (up to 20 mph, pedal assist and throttle) e-bikes and Class 3 (up to 28 mph, pedal assist only). Only electric bikes in these classifications will qualify.
  • Participants must purchase a bike from a California bike shop or online from a company with a business location in California.

We estimate that the $13 million budget of the pilot project will fund between 4,000 and 7,000 e-bike vouchers, but demand is likely to be much higher. CARB has tentatively allocated an additional $18 million for the program in the next fiscal year.

The electric bike is the cleanest electric vehicle and the one that most efficiently reduces GHG emissions.

WHAT WE’RE FIGHTING FOR

$50 Million for E-Bikes

Electric assist makes bicycling accessible to more people, especially seniors, people with disabilities, people who need to transport children, and those with long commutes. And e-bikes have been proven to reduce vehicle miles traveled (VMT), helping California meet its goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and slow the pace of climate change.

CalBike thinks e-bikes deserve the same incentives as electric cars. E-bikes use less energy than EVs and biking can replace many car trips, since most are under 3 miles.

We are part of a coalition of environmental and transportation advocacy groups asking California legislators to allocate $50 million to renew CARB’s Electric Bicycle Incentive Project in 2024. Proposed 2023-24 Budget Request for the Electric Bicycle Incentive Project

WHY IT MATTERS

6 more reasons to make E-Bikes accessible for all Californians:

Reduce Emissions

California’s current strategies are not effectively reducing greenhouse gases in the transportation sector. A large increase in e-bike use could replace enough car trips to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Make E-Bikes Affordable

The price of an electric bike is out of reach for many Californians. The purchase incentives in AB 117 will give people who couldn’t otherwise afford an e-bike the financial support they need.

Low-cost Maintenance

E-bikes cost pennies to charge. They are one of the most efficient, convenient, and cheap-to-operate forms of transportation. E-bikes will save families money.

Get More People on Bikes

E-bikes allow people who couldn’t otherwise ride to get out on a bike. An electric motor lets you carry heavy loads and passengers you might not be able to manage under your own power.

Improve Public Health

Bike riding reduces health care costs, improves air quality, and provides excellent exercise. E-bikes replace smog-spewing car trips and allow people to realize the health benefits of bikes.

Provide an Alternative Transit Option

E-bikes give people who live in public transit deserts an affordable alternative to costly car dependency.

More About E-Bike Incentives

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