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 released last month.
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.
Only purchases from authorized, in-state retailers would be eligible for rebates, and rebate recipients would need to own their e-bikes “for at least one year after receiving the rebate,” according to the bill. The draft legislation would appropriate $6 million in funding for the program.
Outgoing state Rep. Karin Power, a Democrat, and her staff wrote the legislation. State Rep. Dacia Grayber, also a Democrat, will sponsor the bill during the next legislative session.
“I agreed to sponsor the bill because, in addition to being an e-bike rider and seeing on a personal level how we’ve been able to transform our family’s transportation footprint, I want to encourage transportation diversification,” Grayber said in an email. “In many places, the cost of owning an automobile — or having parking for that vehicle — is prohibitive, and e-bikes, in addition to lowering our carbon footprint, are accessible and relatively affordable options. Incentivizing e-bikes is one way we can creatively foster greater transportation justice and equity.”
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. However, such programs have faced several challenges, including a lack of available vehicles due to supply chain problems and funding issues.