Avon to consider rebate for e-bike purchases made in town
Not only would the financial rebate align with the town’s climate action goals, but it would incentivize residents to shop locally
The insurgence of e-bikes has caused local municipalities to take a closer look at the popular mode of transportation.
At Tuesday’s meeting, the Avon Town Council will consider creating a monetary incentive for residents to purchase an e-bike in the town.
According to Elizabeth Wood, the town’s communications and marketing manager, an incentive program would not only fall in line with the town’s climate action goals but it would also help bring in business to local retailers.
“The goal is to reduce vehicles on the road and therefore vehicle emissions,” Wood said, adding that the hope is people would opt to use an e-bike instead of a vehicle for normal errands.
Wood is presenting the idea for a financial rebate for Avon residents to Town Council this week. Residents that purchase an e-bike at a brick-and-mortar retail location within the town would receive $200. In Wood’s report to the Town Council, she requests that council earmark between $20,000 and $30,000 for the rebate incentive in the town’s 2022 budget.
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The model for financial incentives for e-bikes has been growing in the United States. Research has indicated that while significant e-bike adoption could have impacts on carbon emissions, the high cost of the electric vehicles is prohibitive. A report from the Transportation Research and Education Center found that, done the right way, e-bike incentive programs could go a long way in improving adoption.
According to Wood’s report in the Town Council packet, two other local entities offer financial incentives for e-bike purchases.
Holy Cross Energy currently offers a $200 rebate for its customers to “offset vehicle miles.” The report notes that it is the company’s “most popular rebate,” and that it has offered 520 e-bike rebates this year.
The Edwards Metro District also offers a $200 e-bike purchase rebate, with a limit of two per household for purchases made both online or at brick-and-mortar retailers. The program started earlier this summer and the metro district has issued 25 rebates, so far.
The market for e-bikes has been increasingly on the rise for the past few years. Locally, Venture Sports Owner Mike Brumbaugh said that e-bike sales have “exponentially increased” in the past year and have been “through the roof.” However, he added that a $200 discount could continue to help sales, calling it a “really healthy discount” that would be a great incentive on these expensive bikes that can can cost upwards of $2500.
The town of Avon currently allows e-bikes on all paths and parks throughout town, but is currently instituting a speed limit within Nottingham Park to help regulate e-bikes in the area. According to Wood, the town is working on putting up 15 mph speed limit signs in the park, adding that there might be a lower limit on the north shore of the park where there is the most traffic.
Electric bikes are still not allowed on trails in the West Avon Preserve.
The Avon Town Council will discuss the possibility of the e-bike rebate program at the Tuesday, Aug. 10 Town Council meeting at around 6 p.m.