Our region is a demonstrated leader in fostering bicycling as an alternative method of transportation. As the first city in the nation to legislate and standardize bike lanes, Davis is known as the “Bicycle Capital of America.” Electric bikes, or e-bikes, are becoming an increasingly popular mode of transportation in California. With the ability to help riders travel farther and faster with less effort, e-bikes are a great option for commuting, running errands, or just exploring the great outdoors. To help those living under 300% of the Federal Poverty Limit (FPL) enjoy the benefits of e-bikes, the state of California will introduce a new incentive program that offers rebates to those who qualify and purchase an eligible e-bike.
What is the California e-bike incentive program?
The California Electric Bicycle Incentives program aims to make sustainable transportation more accessible to low-income residents and promote equity, while reducing carbon emissions and transportation costs. The program is expected to launch in late Q2 2023 and offer $1,000 for eligible electric bicycles, an additional $750 for electric cargo bicycles or adaptive/recumbent e-bikes. A smaller incentive of $250 will be available for people below 225% FPL.
Electric bicycle prices range from $600 – $8,000 with an average cost being between $1,000 – $2,000. Higher end e-bikes typically provide more powerful motors or may include room for more than a single rider. When considering an e-bike as an alternative to cars, the cost is minimal. You will not only save on the cost of the vehicle, but the cost of gasoline compared to charging an e-bike can make a big difference for your wallet. The e-bike incentives will only further your savings.
What e-bikes are eligible for the rebate?
All e-bike classes will be eligible for the rebate:
- Class 1: Limited speed up to 20 mph, pedal assist only
- Class 2: Limited speed up to 20 mph, pedal assist and throttle
- Class 3: Maximum speed up to 28 mph, pedal assist only
How do I apply for the rebate?
The rebate is expected to launch in Q2 of 2023 and will be available on a first-come, first-served basis. Funds will be reserved for those who meet the priority requirements.
Where can I learn more about e-bikes?
If you are new to e-bikes and want to learn more about them, there are a number of resources available. Cycling News has a great primer for beginners. The League of American Bicyclists also has a wealth of information on e-bikes, including a guide to e-bike laws and policies in all 50 states.
The California e-bike incentives program is a great opportunity for qualifying California residents. By taking advantage of this program, you can not only save money on your e-bike purchase, but also reduce your carbon footprint and improve your health by choosing a more sustainable mode of transportation.
Follow updates from the California Bicycle Coalition as the California Air Resources Board (CARB) rolls out this program.