Vail and Avon are incentivizing e-bike purchases with new, updated rebates
As Avon increases its options, Vail readies to roll out its own e-bike rebate program — and the local rebates don’t stop there
As electric bikes gain popularity, municipalities and organizations across the country are looking to incentivize their use through share programs, rentals and rebates in an effort to advance climate action initiatives.
In Eagle County, transportation is the leading source of greenhouse gas emissions, and e-bikes provide an alternative to vehicle use, and therefore, can play a role in decreasing greenhouse gas emissions. As part of the county Climate Action Collaborative’s stated goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80% by 2050, local groups and governments have begun and expanded efforts to encourage micro-mobility solutions, which includes e-bikes.
Working regionally, this was the impetus behind the Shift E-Bike program. The program initially launched in June 2022 with 90 bikes parked at 20 stations throughout Avon, EagleVail and Vail. With the success of the first season, the program is returning this May with new participation from Edwards and Eagle County.
It is also the rationale for the growing number of e-bike rebate programs as well. Holy Cross Energy, the Edwards Metro District as well as the towns of Vail and Avon are all offering rebates for e-bike purchases that encourage local and used purchases, seek to increase equitable access to e-bikes and more.
Holy Cross Energy offers a $50 rebate to its members when an e-bike is purchased through a local retailer or online. The rebate is limited to two bikes per household. Residents of the Edwards Metro District can also take advantage of a $200 rebate on an e-bike purchase exceeding $500.
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Avon increases rebates
While the town of Avon first launched its e-bike rebate program in 2022, the Town Council recently voted to increase its rebate options for Avon residents.
In 2022, the town offered $200 rebates to Avon residents who purchased the bikes. In total, it issued 23 of these rebates.
However, in an effort to further incentivize the use of e-bikes to run errands, commute to work and reduce carbon emissions, the council voted to double this rebate amount in some cases.
Now, Avon residents who purchase an e-bike in Eagle County can receive a $400 rebate for bikes that cost at or above $1,000. Bikes purchased online or outside of Eagle County and used e-bikes with a minimum purchase price of $400 are now eligible for a $200 rebate.
Residents who have purchased their bikes after Jan. 1, 2023, can utilize this new structure. The application has to be completed and turned in to the town within 180 days of its purchase.
This rebate is only available to Avon residents and is limited to two e-bikes per household, and one e-bike per person.
Vail readies to launch
The town of Vail is the latest town to follow suit, as it prepares to launch its first e-bike rebate in May 2023. Council approved a budget of $15,000 in its 2023 budget to roll out this program, which should fund around 60 rebates.
“The e-bike rebate program enhances the suite of e-bike programs offered to Town of Vail residents and employees to increase opportunities for implementing micro-mobility as a commuting alternative to reduce vehicle miles traveled and related GHG emissions,” reads a memo from the town’s Environmental Sustainability department.
While its program is modeled off of those in Edwards, Avon and from Holy Cross Energy, the town is doing it a little bit differently with different tiers for the rebate.
These include two primary rebate tiers as well as three income-qualifying tiers.
The main two tiers are as follows:
- Residents that purchase an e-bike from a Vail Retailer are eligible for a $300 rebate
- Residents that purchase an e-bike outside of the town of Vail are eligible for a $200 rebate
The low-to-moderate income rebate is meant for applicants that make 80% of the area median income or less — which is currently $62,650 or less. The three tiers in this rebate are as follows:
- For residents earning between 61% to 80% AMI(or $47,001 to $62,650), e-bike purchases are eligible for a $300 rebate
- For residents earning between 41% to 60% AMI(or ($32,001 to $47,000), e-bike purchases are eligible for a $400 rebate
- For residents earning 40% or less of the average median income(or ($32,000 or less), e-bike purchases are eligible for a $500 rebate
These rebates will be available for e-bike purchases made after Jan. 1, 2023, with a limit of two rebates per household. The total rebate amount cannot exceed 50% of the bike’s purchase price.
Launching in May, the rebates will be given on a first-come, first-save basis through the end of the year or until the budgeted $15,000 runs out.