B.C.’s new e-bike rebate could be just the incentive someone needs to start peddling towards what experts have said is an environmentally conscious alternative to driving – a trend being seen around the world.
Starting June 1, B.C. will start to offer rebates of $350 to a maximum of $1,400 for residents over the age of 19 who have purchased approved e-bikes. Rebates will be based on a person’s income.
While these rebates are new to B.C., they have been extremely common throughout the rest of the world.
“Incentive programs are happening all over the place now. I think there’s more than 300 in Europe and 75 in North America,” said Elmira Berjisia, a PhD candidate in transportation engineering and researcher for UBC REACT Lab.
The B.C. government states that it will be investing more than $6 million in rebates, which will allow up to 9,000 people to lower the cost of their e-bike purchase. The program will be operated by the Scrap-It Society based in Richmond.
“Having an e-bike can reduce the distance of traveling with the car. This can help reduce emissions of about 460 kilograms of CO2 per year,” Berjisia said.
According to Amir Hassanpour, a UBC PhD student in transportation engineering, e-bikes gained popularity in China around 10 to 20 years ago and is now slowly finding their way into North America.
“In 2019 to 2020, the modal share for e-bikes were about four per cent. We’re going back this summer and redoing the study. We’re expecting the numbers to definitely go up,” Hassanpour said.
With e-bikes gaining popularity throughout B.C., there is no doubt that these rebates will motivate others to be more active, and help the environment.