Electrifying the Bike Boom

November 18, 2020

 

At PeopleForBikes, we’re focusing our energy on maintaining the bike boom. We know electric bicycles are growing in popularity across the United States, and for many Americans in cities large and small, they’re becoming a first choice mode of transportation. They shorten distances, squish hills, and get you to your destination with ease and efficiency. 

Some electric utility companies have taken notice of the rise in electric bicycle riding in their regions and offer rebates to their account holders for electric bicycle purchases. 

 

Burlington Electric Department and Other Utilities in Vermont

Four utility companies in the state of Vermont offer their customers rebates for electric bicycle purchases: 

We asked Burlington Electric Department (servicing Burlington, VT) how their rebate program works, and how it came to be, so that we can help spread their message to other utility companies across the country and increase access to electric bicycles.  

 

Here’s What We Learned:

  • In 2015, Vermont updated their renewable energy standards to direct utility companies in the state to “acquire fossil fuel savings from energy transformation projects.” Offering rebates for electric bicycles– along with tractors, heat pumps, and more– fall within this broad charge. 50% of emissions in the state of Vermont come from transportation. 
  • Burlington Electric Department was the first in the state to implement an electric bicycle rebate program, in partnership with nonprofits VBike and Local Motion
  • Burlington residents are eligible for a $200 rebate at the point-of-purchase at participating bike dealers in the city. 
  • BED calculated the cost of the rebate by how much of the cost of fossil fuel they expect the electric bicycle to replace over the product’s lifetime.

 

Austin Energy

Halfway across the country, the city of Austin, Texas’ energy utility offers an electric bicycle rebate to their customers. 

  • In 2015, the city of Austin passed a resolution to set a netzero emissions by 2050 and make “Austin Energy (AE) the leading utility for greenhouse gas reductions.” 
  • AE took the initiative to start their E-Ride rebate program to make electric, netzero emissions transportation more accessible to Austinites.
  • In partnership with local dealers, AE customers are eligible for:
    • up to a $300 rebate for individual electric bicycles, scooters, mopeds and motorcycles
    • up to a $400 rebate per vehicle for fleet purchase
  • AE customers have to submit a rebate form online to the company after purchasing the electric bicycle to receive their rebate. 

 

Have you used a utility-based rebate program (or something else) to help finance your electric bicycle purchase? We want to hear from you: email noa@peopleforbikes.org to share your experience. 

And more information on electric bicycle purchase incentive programs is available here.  

 

 

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