In the past year, a number of cities and states have either begun or continued support for electric bike rebate programs, with major rebates renewing, expanding, or beginning in areas around the country such as Colorado and Hawaii. This is fantastic news for all riders, but this still leaves a good portion of the country on their own when it comes to purchasing a micro-mobility vehicle. Electric bike rebates help low-income riders overcome the initial cost of obtaining an e-bike, which is usually the biggest barrier to entry for new riders. Without a rebate, some riders will have to wait much longer to be able to afford a personal electric vehicle, if they can ever buy one at all.
Thankfully, many areas are still introducing new e-bike rebate programs for themselves. The city council of Atlanta, Georgia recently voted to invest $1 million into an e-bike rebate to help address the rising cost of living and lessen the impact of traditional gas-based transportation on the environment.
The hope is that affordable access to an electric bike will help improve quality of life for many families, especially those with a lower income. In an article about the program, Propel ATL’s executive director Rebecca Serna notes that residents who make less than the median income for the city tend to spend over half of what they make on transportation and housing. By making e-biking an accessible transportation option, the rebate will help lower-income residents save a significant amount of money on the fueling and maintenance of their vehicles.
Rebates are an amazing way for families to access an e-bike when they otherwise would not have been able to. Electric bikes are such an important tool for many people. They provide a number of benefits, especially for lower-income families, as they’re cheaper to maintain and repair than a car. They tend to save commuters time and money by letting them skip traffic and avoid parking fees as well. Of course, an e-bike rebate program alone isn’t enough to overcome the problems with our current systems of transportation; cities must also invest in better bike infrastructure, including dedicated and protected bike lanes that keep cyclists from needing to share the road with much bigger, faster, and higher-powered traditional gas-based vehicles. That being said, the progress we’re seeing in e-bike accessibility is promising, and we encourage more cities, states, and policymakers to give e-bike rebates a try.