Pedal power: Connecticut launches $1,500 e-bike incentives

The state of Connecticut is offering you up to $1,500 to buy one – through a new incentive program that launched on Wednesday.

John Craven

Jun 29, 2023, 12:42 AM

Updated 297 days ago

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Electric bikes put the “power” in “pedal power.” Now, the state of Connecticut is offering you up to $1,500 to buy one – through a new incentive program that launched on Wednesday.
For Kate Rozen, her e-bike bike isn't just a hobby. It's how she gets around.
“I ride this bike to work three to five days a week,” she said.
CASH VOUCHERS
Soon, a lot more people could be joining her. The new Connecticut Electric Bicycle Incentive Program takes $500 off an electric bike purchase. And you can save an extra $1,000 if you live in distressed communities like Bridgeport, Stratford and Derby – or low-income parts of Stamford, Norwalk, Fairfield and dozens of other places.
“There's a large number of households throughout the state of Connecticut that do not own a car,” said Rob Bell, with the Connecticut Department of Transportation. “So for those folks to travel, to make trips around their community, an e-bike is a fantastic addition.”
There are a few rules though:
  • Must purchase from a participating retailer
  • Bike must be new and have a one-year warranty
  • Bike can't cost more than $3,000
  • Must apply for a voucher before you buy
New Haven Mayor Justin Elicker said the goal is cleaner air, less traffic congestion and more mobility for people without a car – or access to mass transit.
“It is a great way to get around,” he said. “It's good for the climate; it is good for the environment.”
SAFETY CONCERNS
Electric bikes come with serious safety concerns – not with the bikes themselves, but with the batteries they run on. New York has seen dozens of fires – some deadly – caused by cheap, after-market batteries.
That's why Connecticut is only paying for new bikes with UL-rated batteries.
“The manufacturers design their batteries for their bikes,” said John Brehon, owner of Devil’s Gear Bike and Board in New Haven. “They are not interchangeable.”
Kate Rozen also has safety concerns – on the road. The next challenge? Building more bike paths across the state.
“We want children, grandparents, middle-aged people like me, to be able to feel comfortable out there on the road,” she said.
ACT FAST
If you’re interested in an e-bike voucher, act fast. The program only has $1.5 million budgeted – enough for up to 3,000 vouchers. In just the first two hours, 1,200 people had already applied.
Apply here.


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