British Columbians can get up to $1,400 off their next e-bike without having to scrap their car, under a new rebate program worth $6 million starting June 1 – but the new program comes with a catch.
The top rebate of $1,400 is only available to British Columbians who earn less than $38,950.
According to 2021 Statistics Canada, B.C. is home to about 1.48 million people 15 years and older who earn less than $40,000, meaning that about one-third of British Columbians could eligible for the top rate.
This figure means that most people are either eligible for the $1000 rebate if their income falls between $38,951 and $51,130 or for the $360 rebate if they earn more than $51,131, with most people only eligible for $350.
Under the expiring system, all British Columbians regardless were eligible for $750 but on the condition of scrapping their car if it qualifies.
That scrapping requirement disappears under the new program, which costs the province $6 million, according to a government release. It says that as many as 9,000 people will be able to lower the cost of their e-bike purchases.
Michael Koski, executive director of the BC Cycling Coalition, said the funding will help those struggling with the cost of a car.
“E-bikes make cycling accessible to a wider range of people, improve personal health and help smaller communities by making more people mobile.”
Transportation Minister Rob Fleming said e-bikes are becoming commonplace in B.C. as a convenient alternative to motor-vehicle trips.
“(But) their price can put them out of reach for people. By making rebates available and basing the rebate amount on income, we can make e-bikes and clean transportation more affordable and accessible for everyone.”
According to Electric Autonomy, a website tracking news around electric vehicles and e-bikes, a good quality e-bike costs between $1,500 to $2,000 with the market booming.
A February 2023 report from Market Research Future found the value of the global e-bike market is expected to reach just under $55.6 billion (US), up from $28.2 billion (US) in 2021.
“From 2022 to 2030, the electric bicycle market in North America is anticipated to expand at the quickest rate,” it reads. “The rise of the regional market is predicted to be propelled by the region’s developing urban and tech-savvy population, as well as the region’s growing number of manufacturing facilities and IT firms. Moreover, the US electric bicycle market had the biggest market share, while the fastest-growing market in North America was the electric bicycle market in Canada.”
The Scrap-It Society will administer B.C.’s rebate program, one of five provincial rebate programs. Several municipalities also have their own programs.