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Here at Bicycle Colorado, we are big fans of e-bikes. Electric bicycles allow more people to ride bikes, for further distances and for more purposes. E-bikes can help more people commute by bike (go far and sweat less!), carry groceries or other cargo (like kiddos!), or to ride more and with more comfort than a regular bicycle (older adults or people with disabilities or injuries). E-bikes come in all shapes and sizes, from regular two-wheeled bikes to trikes, to cargo e-bikes with large baskets in the front.
E-bikes in Colorado generally have three “classes” defined by their assisted speeds and whether they are pedal- or throttle-powered. Learn more about the three classes and other facts about e-bike regulations from our friends at Colorado Bike Law.
Higher initial cost (compared to a traditional bike) is often a barrier to entry for people curious about e-bikes. The state of Colorado and many municipalities and utility companies have been hard at work since 2020 creating new incentives and rebate programs to help more people access e-bikes. Below you can find a general timeline and some information about the major e-bike programs in Colorado to date.
In August 2023, the Colorado Energy Office launched one of the country’s largest statewide e-bike rebate programs to date. The Community Access to Electric Bicycles Rebate Program was funded through the passage of Senate Bill 193, which creates a Clean Air Grant Program within the agency, including $12 million for the new e-bike program. It offers point-of-sale rebates for lower- and middle-income Coloradans for the purchase of an e-bike as well as some additional equipment, for example helmets or locks.
For more information on the Community Access to Electric Bicycles Rebate Program, head to the Colorado Energy Office’s webpage.
The 2020 Can Do Colorado eBike Mini Pilot Program was Colorado’s first e-bike initiative. Thirteen Denver-area participants received free e-bike, helmets, locks and panniers from the Colorado Energy Office (CEO) to evaluate e-bike as a transportation solution for low-income essential workers. Bicycle Colorado provided technical assistance, including training, and the Colorado-based National Renewable Energy Laboratory analyzed data, including developing a user-friendly app for participants. Applying lessons learned from the Mini Pilot, the CEO launched an expanded Two-Year Pilot Program in the Spring of 2021. This program has deployed 181 e-bikes and 50 e-bike share memberships to five Colorado communities. In 2023, the CEO will launch a full Can Do Statewide program.
For more information on Colorado’s Can Do program including the Mini Pilot Evaluation Report visit the Colorado Energy Office’s webpage.
The Denver Climate Action, Sustainability, Resiliency Office (CASR) launched Colorado’s first e-bike rebate program in April 2022. Denver residents can apply for a $300 e-bike rebate or an income-qualifying $1,200 rebate, with an additional $200 available for e-cargo bikes. The three-year program is funded through Denver’s Climate Protection Fund, a 2020 voter-approved sales tax, and is on pace to deliver 4,500 e-bikes to Denverites in 2023.
August 18, 2023
The Colorado Energy Office launches Colorado’s first statewide e-bike rebate program, as a result of SB22-193, passed in 2022
May 11, 2023
Colorado legislature passed HB23-1272, the Tax Policy That Advances Decarbonization, which includes a tax credit to fund nearly $90,000,000 in $450 e-bike rebates for all Colorado residents over nine years starting in April 2024
Colorado legislature passed SB22-193, the Air-Quality Bill, to fund clean air grant programs, including an e-bike rebate program
Denver Climate Action Office launches Denver’s e-bike rebate program
Bicycle Colorado releases the Colorado Energy Office mini-pilot report
Denver voters approve a new Climate Protection Fund to fund programs that combat climate change
Colorado Energy Office and Bicycle Colorado initiate the state’s first e-bike pilot program
Governor’s Office announces the Can Do Colorado program
In 2022, we spoke with nine e-bike owners about why they use these incredible machines and how their lives have been improved by their e-bike. We are grateful to John Simmerman of the Active Towns podcast for filming with us!
Click the arrow in the top left of the video to find all of the videos.
Presented by Bicycle Colorado and CoPIRG on September 21, 2022
Colorado is #1 nationally in public funding for electric bike programs, opening up new transportation options for residents and business owners statewide. Learn more about how electric bikes are proving to be a game changing transportation strategy for our health and climate with insights from government leaders alongside stories from individuals who have purchased e-bikes through Denver’s highly successful rebate program.
A webinar featuring the leaders and experts behind Colorado’s successful e-bike movement alongside real e-bike riders who have benefited from these programs.
Rachel Hultin, Sustainable Transportation State Director, Bicycle Colorado
Will Toor, Director, Colorado Energy Office
Dr. Ash Lovell, Electric Bicycle Policy and Campaign Director, People for Bikes
Piep van Heuven, Government Relations Director, Bicycle Colorado
Elizabeth (Liz) Babcock, Deputy Director, City of Denver Office of Climate Action, Sustainability and Resiliency
Joined by Darnell Robinson, one of the first participants in a State of Colorado eBike program
Alex Simon, Public Health Advocate, CoPIRG