Denver launched a rebate program to encourage residents to buy e-bikes and drive less. It’s already wildly popular.
When Denver started offering a rebate for residents to buy electric bikes, the city thought that the funding would last for three years. Instead, so many people wanted to participate that it was gone in six months.
The first set of 3,000 vouchers—with $400 for a standard rebate, $1,200 for low-income residents, and an extra $500 for anyone buying an electric cargo bike—were claimed within days of the program’s launch last April. Then the city released more vouchers in July, and “they were gone in 22 minutes,” says Grace Rink, the city’s chief climate officer. “We thought it might be popular. We just didn’t know how popular it was going to be.” To date, 4,156 vouchers, worth a total of more than $4.1 million, have been redeemed at local bike shops. This fall, Rink plans to ask the city council for funding to add more vouchers in 2023.