E-bikes: zero-emissions vehicles that you get to ride

E-bikes are catching on fast, and are particularly well-suited to our active lifestyle on western Colorado. They combine the environmental advantages of electric vehicles with the low cost and health benefits of biking – and the cost advantages are getting even better (see below).

An e-bike is a bicycle with a battery-powered "assist." When you pedal, a small motor engages and gives you a boost. That's a big help on hills, and it makes it easier and faster to commute or travel longer distances than on a regular bike. Many e-bike owners find that they ride more, and drive less.

As with an electric vehicle, an e-bike has an onboard battery that you charge when not in use. The charger plugs into a regular electrical outlet, and a full charge will give you 35-50+ miles of assist (depending on a lot of variables). Assuming typical electricity rates, the cost of a charge is literally just a few pennies.

Rebates, tax credits and other incentives

A decent commuter e-bike will cost upwards of $2,000 new, but a number of incentives are available that can bring the price down considerably.

Most notably, the Colorado Energy Office has announced it plans to launch a program in August in which income-qualified Colorado residents will be able to apply for a voucher for $500-$1,100 off the retail cost of an e-bike (depending on income). Not everyone is guaranteed a voucher, though – the program promises to be very popular, so applications will be drawn by lottery.

Meanwhile, thanks to legislation approved by state lawmakers earlier this year, residents at any income level will be eligible for a $450 tax deduction toward an e-bike purchase beginning in the spring of 2024.

Here in Garfield County, two local utilities offer their own modest e-bike rebates:

  • Glenwood Springs Electric: Apply for a $200 rebate on our website using this form. (A lot of the questions pertain to home energy improvements, but just make sure to check the E-bikes box.)
  • Holy Cross Electric: Apply via the HCE website, where you'll also find a handy list of local retailers that sell e-bikes. Unfortunately, the rebate has been reduced to $50.


State turbocharges EV & e-bike tax credits

Colorado is a pretty great state to live in, especially if you’re in the market for an e-bike or EV! The Colorado Energy Office now offers vouchers for $500-1,100 off the price of a new e-bike for income-qualified residents. Those who don't meet the income requirements will be able to get a $450 tax credit starting next year. More info here.