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HomeNewsComox Valley‘The gentle push people need’: B.C. e-bike rebate encouraging more to cycle

‘The gentle push people need’: B.C. e-bike rebate encouraging more to cycle

Depending on your income and price of the bike, you could get an e-bike for almost half the cost with province’s e-bike rebate program.

Launched today, you can get anywhere between $350 and $1,400 for buying an e-bike. The amount you can get is based on your income, according to the province, and is broken down as follows:

  • Incomes of $38,950 or less are eligible for a $1,400 rebate 
  • Between $38,950 and $51,130, you are eligible for a $1,000 rebate  
  • Above $51,131, you can get $350 

To get qualified for the rebate, certain criteria must be met, with the bike purchased from a participating e-bike retailer and the cost of the bike must be at least $2,000.

The province says they are investing more than $6 million in rebates, which could see around $9,000 people lower the cost of a new e-bike.

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According to Mountain City Cycles owner Jon Rankin, the rebate will help be an extra motive for people to start commuting by bicycle.

“This would be the gentle push people needed or to take the plunge,” said Rankin. “There’s definitely going to be a surge on e-bikes due to the rebate. It just makes it a little more affordable for people.”

Rankin says over the last seven years or so, e-bikes sales have grown and make up around 25 per cent of their annual sales.

He adds that often people are discouraged in buying an e-bike because of the price. He says in most scenarios, e-bikes at a shop start at around $3,000 and are up to about $5,000 on average but can hit the tens of thousands.

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“There are kinds of online brands which are selling in that $1,500 to $2,500 range and they’re a little lower tech, but it is good transportation for people,” said Rankin.

Conversion kits are also an option, but Rankin adds the purpose-built e-bikes are designed for the job, are better built and better suited to having a motor.

He sees the rebate as an option to getting more people out and commuting by bicycle. Mike Keohane of the Comox Valley Cycling Coalition echoes the comments, adding that it could help people overcome barriers in the area’s commuting network.

“It doesn’t help with the infrastructure per say, there’s still some barriers, some busy roads,” said Keohane. “If you want to go that extra distance and stay on some quieter roads, an e-bike helps you cover those distances in a reasonable time frame.

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“It makes it easier, if you’re going to work or school you don’t have to show up all sweaty and grungy because you’ve ridden your bike there.”

He adds with more people getting on e-bikes, education is needed to help get cyclists more confident commuting.

The province adds the rebate could help B.C. residents use a vehicle less or replace a vehicle to commute by bike.  

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