Oregon's new e-bike rebate legislation in 2023
Each states wants to promote the development of electric bikes and make different preferential policies. Vermont launched the first state incentive program in the US. Denver, Colorado, also launched an incredibly popular e-bike rebate program that repeatedly sold out, and New York is now flirting with its own e-bike rebate.
Now Oregon could become the latest US state to offer a generous electric bike rebate. Oregon’s state legislature will consider a bill during the 2023 legislative session establishing a statewide rebate program for electric bicycles, according to draft legislation.
Under the bill, Oregon’s Department of Environmental Quality would create a rebate program for e-bikes, cargo e-bikes and related equipment, including bicycle helmets, safety vests, and bicycle lights and locks. Eligible passenger e-bikes would need to be priced between $950 and $1,200; the range for eligible cargo e-bikes is $950 to $1,700. Equipment bought during the same transaction as an e-bike purchase would also qualify for rebates. In order to qualify, the e-bike must have a minimum retail sales price of $950, which precludes the cheapest e-bikes on the market.
I think an income cap would have been a good idea to include here though. Wealthy folks have a much easier time buying a $1,500 e-bike than those who are already struggling to make ends meet and just need their own private form of transport aside from waiting for the bus.
I find the $950 minimum retail price interesting, as it removes the ultra cheap e-bikes. Those are often (but not always!) lower quality and tend to be thought of as “disposable e-bikes” as they don’t last very long, frequently turning into bulky e-waste.
Other states and cities have established or are considering e-bike rebate programs to encourage more people to use micromobility instead of cars, potentially reducing traffic congestion and vehicle emissions. We all look forward to the new rebate policy.