Denver will offer more e-bike rebates to residents in July

A popular Denver e-bike rebate program that reached capacity just 19 days after launching in the spring will soon be back, offering vouchers worth up to $1,700.

The city’s Office of Climate Action, Sustainability and Resiliency says up to 2,000 rebates will be available when applications open online at 8 a.m. July 11, according to a news release. The office has plans to make more of the climate tax-funded vouchers available each month for the rest of the year, helping more residents purchase electric-assist bicycles.

Any Denver resident is eligible for a rebate. These are the maximum discounts available for use at more than a dozen participating retailers:

  • $400 for a regular e-bike
  • $1,200 for a regular e-bike for income-qualified residents
  • $900 for an e-cargo bike
  • $1,700 for e-cargo bikes for income-qualified residents

The program’s website lists several ways to qualify for the larger rebates, including participation in certain programs for low-income people or having a household income below 80% of the area median income. Currently, the latter limit is $62,600 for one person, $71,550 for a two-person household and $89,400 for a family of four.

Winna MacLaren, a spokeswoman for the city’s climate action office, said half of the July batch of rebates will be reserved for income-qualified applicants.

The first round of rebates were released in April. Residents claimed more than 3,200 of them within three weeks, exceeding the initial capacity much faster than officials anticipated. Of those, the office says 848 have been redeemed so far.

MacLaren suggests potential applicants visit a bike shop and test out different models before requesting a rebate, which may reduce the chance that vouchers go unused. The rebates can’t be used for full-suspension mountain bikes.

Denver plans to release more rebates on Aug. 1, Sept. 6, Oct. 3, Nov. 7 and Dec. 5, the news release says. The e-bike program is one of several rebates funded by the city’s Climate Protection Fund, which collects a 0.25% sales tax approved by Denver voters in 2020.

Its success has prompted other cities to consider starting similar programs, though some advocates worry supply-chain shortages could affect the electric-assist bikes’ availability. Early next year, the Colorado Energy Office plans to launch a $12 million statewide e-bike rebate program with funding approved by state lawmakers.

Local policies are still catching up to e-bikes’ popularity. The Regional Transportation District long has banned bikes with motors from its buses and trains. On Tuesday, general manager and CEO Debra Johnson told its board that an updated policy — likely allowing e-bikes — is in the works.

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