Denver to offer more e-bike discounts to residents in July

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

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

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

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

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

Winna MacLaren, spokeswoman for the city’s climate action office, said half of the July discount bundle will be reserved for candidates with qualified income.

The first round of discounts was released in April. Residents claimed more than 3,200 in three weeks, exceeding initial capacity much faster than expected. Of these, the bureau says 848 have been redeemed so far.

MacLaren suggests that potential applicants visit a bike shop and test drive different models before asking for a discount, which can reduce the risk of vouchers not being used. Discounts cannot be used for full suspension mountain bikes.

Denver plans to release more discounts on August 1, September 6, October 3, November 7 and December 5, the press release said. The e-bike program is one of many rebates funded by the city’s Climate Protection Fund, which collects a 2020 Denver voter-approved 0.25 percent sales tax.

Its success has prompted other cities to consider starting similar programs, though some proponents worry that supply chain shortages will affect the availability of e-bikes. 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 with the popularity of e-bikes. The Regional Transportation District has long banned motorized bicycles from its buses and trains. On Tuesday, chief executive and CEO Debra Johnson told her board that an updated policy — likely allowing e-bikes — is in the works.

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