How Colorado plans to spend $12 million in new funding on an e-bike program |

How Colorado plans to spend $12 million in new funding on an e-bike program

Denver quickly ran out of electric bike rebates, and state officials who know a new voucher program will be popular want to make sure shops have stock.

Michael Booth
The Colorado Sun
A cyclist (on a regular bike) rides on the recreational pathway along Colorado Highway 9, south of Frisco Sept. 14, 2017. E-bikes have grown in popularity in Summit County in the years since.
Hugh Carey/Summit Daily News archive

DENVER — Colorado officials are detailing plans to give out $12 million in statewide electric bike rebates approved by this year’s legislature, following on the wild success of a Denver e-bike assistance plan that maxed out its first round of 3,250 applications in a matter of weeks. 

The Colorado Energy Office will administer the new state e-bike program, aiming at a January launch, to open up more access to the bikes meant to replace fossil fuel-driven cars with transportation that runs on cleaner electric power. The legislation seeks to help 12,000 people statewide with e-bike and equipment purchases, safety training and aid to governments, tribes and nonprofits setting up distribution programs. 

Smaller state pilot programs called Can Do Colorado use a trip-logging app designed by the National Renewable Energy Lab, and the results show “people are using them and that they’re being used for their intended purpose, to offset vehicle miles traveled,” said Sarah Thorne, who is administering the e-bike program for the Colorado Energy Office.

Advocacy groups can’t wait for more. 

“These are the steps that states and cities need to take to address transportation change,” said Piep van Heuven, director of government relations for Bicycle Colorado. “Household motor vehicle trips are one of the biggest drivers of transportation emissions in the country, and nearly 60% of these trips are a distance of 6 miles or less, the perfect distance for an e-bike trip.”


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