Everything You Need to Know About Colorado's New E
The state has millions to spend on e-bikes. Here's how to get a piece of the pie.
The Local newsletter is your free, daily guide to life in Colorado. For locals, by locals. Sign up today!
In 2022, Colorado passed the Air Quality Improvement Investments act, which, among other things, earmarked $12 million for electric bike rebate programs aimed at encouraging Coloradans to make the shift to the more sustainable—and increasingly popular—mode of transportation. On Thursday, the Colorado Energy Office (CEO) unveiled some details of its Community Access to Electric Bicycles Rebate Program, which will disburse more than half of that money.
In short: Colorado is going to split the tab with you—if you’re one of the lucky ones who wins its e-bike lottery, that is. Below, we detail how to enter the raffle, what the payout is, and more specifics about the brand-new program.
Mid-August is as specific as the state will get right now. (A spokesperson says that CEO is planning to announce the exact date in late July.) When the program does officially launch, you will be able to fill out an application on CEO's website; it will collect applications for exactly one week every month and then randomly select winners.
The state will approve about 1,000 e-bike purchases per month.
Low-income and moderate-income Coloradans. For the former, that means you live in a household that makes less than 80 percent of the area median income (AMI) in the county you reside. For a four-person household in Denver, that's less than $93,760; in Boulder, that's $100,320.
Moderate-income earners make from 80 percent to 100 percent of their county's AMI; 100 percent in Denver is $117,200 and $125,400 in Boulder.
Low-income earners receive $1,100 toward the cost of a new e-bike, plus an additional $100 for accessories (like helmets and locks), $250 if they get an electric cargo bike, and $250 if they need an adaptive e-bike.
Moderate-income households qualify for $500 toward an e-bike, but get the same extra dough as low-income earners for accessories, electric cargo bikes, and adaptive e-bikes.
Simply present the rebate at the register when you are checking out, and the cashier will knock off your qualifying amount from the total price of the e-bike. The only catch is that you have to buy the e-bike from a registered retailer. (More on that below.)
Important note: CEO had previously said that Denverites would be able to stack the state's incentive on stop of the city's e-bike incentive to get even more money off the price. But in order to ensure more people will get at least one incentive, the state and city decided to nix that idea.
Colorado is still finalizing the list of approved retailers, but shops can apply to participate on CEO's website. A CEO spokesperson says that, unlike with Denver's program, the state will qualify at least some online retailers, so that people who live in counties without bike shops can still reap their rewards.
$6.6 million, which makes Colorado's the largest state-run e-bike rebate program in the country. (Vermont and Rhode Island are the only other two states that have similar initiatives, having allocated $92,500 and $250,000, respectively, to their programs.)
The state estimates it will run out of the dedicated cash funds about six months after the program begins. However, a state e-bike tax incentive is set to start in April 2024, which will offer a $450 tax rebate to Coloradans at any income level if they purchase an e-bike.
It's different, but similar. Denver's program is open to anyone regardless or income; the base rebate for that demographic is $300. However, Denver does give up to $1,200 for income-qualified individuals and $1,400 for an e-cargo bike. Both programs are point-of-sale rebates (meaning they are redeemable at the cash register), except Denver's qualified retailers must be brick-and-mortar shops, so the money stays in town.The Local