Finding alternatives to gas powered transportation has been a hot button issue in recent years. Electric cars have dominated the conversation but bringing e-bikes to the forefront could create a hugely positive change for Americans. Reducing emissions is the obvious benefit of e-bikes along with reducing congestion. The Bureau of Transportation Statistics reports that 52% of all trips by car are less than three miles, and if just 15% percent of those trips were made using an e-bike carbon emissions would decrease by 12 %.
The Washington state legislature approved a $7 million package to support e-bike purchases for individuals and to create e-bike “lending libraries" over the next two years. Five million would be allotted for the rebates over two years with the remaining two million being put towards creating E-bike sharing programs managed by municipalities, businesses or nonprofits.
"This state investment in e-bike accessibility means that many more Washingtonians will have the opportunity to own or borrow an e-bike, whatever their income level," said Vicky Clarke, police director of the Washington Bikes advocacy group. Accessibility is a major part of what Washington Bikes is trying to achieve to get more Washington residents out of their cars and onto e-bikes.
“Electric bikes are ideal for reducing many of the short trips and in-town errands that people currently do by motor vehicle, and they provide a public health boost as well."
The legislature will give a $300 point of sale rebate for anyone no matter their income, a tactic used successfully in Denver, Colo. Anyone with an income that is 80% or lower than the state's median income is eligible for a $1200 rebate. With its statewide e-bike incentive program, Washington will become the eighth state with e-bike purchasing incentives following the states of California, Colorado, Connecticut, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Vermont
This news follows on the heels of democratic lawmakers reintroducing the E-BIKE Act (Electric Bicycle Incentive Kickstart for the Environment) in Washington D.C. The Act was originally a part of the Inflation Reduction bill introduced in 2021 but was removed in order to gain more support to pass the bill, but now with E-Bikes gaining more traction with lawmakers and bike focused infrastructure becoming more popular it has been reintroduced. This proposal would cover 30% of the cost of a new E-bike under 8,000 USD, with a credit up to 1,500 USD. This bill was introduced alongside a safety bill, which would give federal funds to state and local governments for the construction of safe bike and pedestrian focused infrastructure.
If you're in the market for a new e-bike check out our E-Bike Buyer's Guide. And for fire safety reasons, Cycling Weekly encourages you to buy from reputable sources or check yourself to see if the product was tested for safety and meets the internationally recognized UL Mark or ANSI standards
Thank you for reading 20 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access
Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1
*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription
Join now for unlimited access
Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1