Clean Air and Active Transportation Groups Seek $50M for California E-bike Program

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SACRAMENTO, California (April 27, 2023) — Today, a coalition of environmental, public health, and active transportation organizations have sent a letter to California state budget leadership requesting and additional $50M for the California Air Resources Board’s Electric Bicycle Incentive Project. The coalition argues this funding will “…help the state transition to clean transportation in order to meet its ambitious climate goals.”

The coalition submitting this request includes: Active San Gabriel Valley, California Bicycle Coalition, Coalition for Clean Air, Environment California, Safe Routes Partnership, and the San Francisco Bay Area Planning and Urban Research Association (SPUR).

E-Bikes: A Great Climate Investment for California

Callifornians are eager to begin replacing car trips with e-bike trips. The conversion of Vehicle Miles Traveled (VMT) from auto to active tranportation can dramatically improve air quality for children and elderly in our polluted cities. It’s also a climate – transportation win-win.

“The Coalition for Clean Air is proud to be a part of a coalition advocating to increase funding for the Electric Bicycle Incentive Project. We believe this program will reduce greenhouse gas and air pollutant emissions, lower VMT, promote equity, and improve quality of life for Californians if properly administered and funded,” said Sofia Rafikova, policy advocate at the Coalition for Clean Air.

The Electric Bicycle Incentive Project run by the CARB, the letter explains, “…is modeled after similar programs across the country, this program will award at-point-of-purchase vouchers to low-income Californians to reduce the costs of purchasing an electric bicycle.…This program ensures that these benefits only apply to those who need them the most and that the vouchers successfully incentivize the switch from driving to using electric bicycles, thus, reducing the amount of greenhouse gas and air pollutant emissions coming from the transportation sector.”

More Funding Needed

The California Bicycle Coalition has been curating an e-bike incentive interest list that currently has over 16,000 members. Based on the $7.5M currently available through the EBIP program after administration, education, and outreach costs, the pilot program to be between 3,000 and 7,000 vouchers. Because the program only has a fraction of the funding it needs to meet the demand, the coalition letter warns, “…the funding for the program could run out just a few days after its launch.”

“The California Electric Bicycle Incentive Project offers a huge bang-for-the-buck being spent to reduce the state’s climate pollution. Expanding this program will provide more equitable access to clean transportation, and help the state meet our climate goals. It’s a double win,” said Jared Sanchez, policy director, CalBike.

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