Vermont is one of the first states in the U.S. to offer rebate programs for e-bikes, e-cargo bikes and the installation of e-assist conversion kits. Due to a wise shift in the state’s renewable energy policy, both Green Mountain Power and the Burlington Electric Department are offering $200 rebates for purchases at Vermont bike shops. The two utilities cover nearly 80% of Vermont’s population! Vermont also has an e-bike low-interest loans program through the Vermont State Employees Credit Union.
Rebate, subsidies and tax breaks are essential to increase the adoption of e-bikes. Certainly, Europe, Britain and Scandinavia have led the way. For example, a program in Oslo, Finland provides $1200 towards buying an e-cargo bike. In London, England 20% of the purchase of an e-cargo bike is provided for businesses, and the French city of Angers recently unveiled a program to give 25% back on the purchase of an e-bike. Closer to home, the Canadian province of British Columbia just announced in July a car trade-in program that earns participants $850 towards an e-bike.
Most states in the U.S. offer rebates and subsidies for electric cars, but few are even proposing similar programs for e-bikes. The time is now to push for incentivizing e-bikes to promote a better quality of life, improved health and the benefits to the local environment. Most importantly, studies show that incentivizing e-bikes is a far more cost-effective and a radically stronger solution to climate change than promoting electric cars.