Making the Case for E-Bikes

A new white paper lays the groundwork for better e-bike incentive programs.

Read Time: 2 minutes

May 24, 2022, 11:00 AM PDT

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell


An electric bicycle is shown with the legs of a human who is riding the e-bike.

moreimages / Shutterstock

Kea Wilson reports for Streetsblog USA:

In a new white paper from Portland State University, researchers looked at more than 70 current, former, and upcoming efforts to subsidize the use of electric bicycles in the U.S. and Canada, and how those local programs might have an even bigger impact in the future — and eventually, win more funding at the local, state, and federal level.

As explained by Wilson, e-bike incentive programs can take many forms, such as rebates, vouchers, tax credits, and lending libraries. Many of these programs are already in place around the country. Denver’s e-bike rebate program, launched in April, is already proving popular. Los Angeles launched a Universal Basic Mobility program in April that included a lending library.

The benefits of e-bike incentive programs are measured in Vehicle Miles Traveled and Greenhouse Gas Emissions. “Early research has shown that 62 percent of North American e-bike trips replace a journey that would have otherwise been taken in a car, and access to e-bike share alone can reduce a city residents’ automobile mileage by 20 percent,” according to Wilson.

John MacArthur, sustainable transportation manager for the Transportation Research and Education Center at PSU, is quoted in the article describing the need to better make the case for the community benefits of e-bike adoption. To fulfill some of that purpose, MacArthur created an “e-bike incentive program tracker to see how the details of those North American programs stack up, followed by interviews with many of those programs’ administrators,” reports Wilson.

More findings from the white paper and the tracker can be found at the source article below.

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