A new study has revealed that subsidies for electric bikes are more cost-effective than electric vehicle incentives when it comes to reducing greenhouse gas emissions from passenger cars.
The study’s focus was on the greenhouse gas impacts of subsidies for e-bikes, battery-electric vehicles, and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles in Portland, OR, and found that e-bike subsidies were the most cost-effective way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. One such subsidy mentioned in the article is CalBike’s proposed $10M E-Bike Affordability Program. The goal of the program is to help 10,000 California residents get assistance buying an electric bike that’s reliable and environmentally friendly. The program also provides purchase incentives aimed at low-income residents who, even with rebates, can’t afford electric vehicles.
California’s AB 117
The California Bicycle Coalition, while raising awareness around AB 117, the E-Bike Affordability Bill, pointed out that although this is the best climate investment, there are very few programs that incentivize the uptake of it. In California, lawmakers are determined to spend billions of dollars in hopes of reducing greenhouse gas emissions from passenger vehicles. A huge chunk — $1.5 billion — is focused on subsidizing electric cars. More needs to be done to incentivize e-bikes, they argue.
The article also highlighted how AB 117 would help Californians get more exercise. For the program to be implemented, legislators need to allocate $10 million in the budget, and that’s being negotiated among the capital’s leaders this month.
Assemblymember Tasha Boerner Horvath sponsored the bill and her thoughts were included in the article. “If California is serious about tackling climate change, promoting e-bikes needs to be front and center,” she said. “E-bikes help us cut out shorter car trips, reduce emissions, and move closer to our ambitious climate goals. Now is the time to make e-bikes affordable for all Californians.”
Dave Snyder, Executive Director of the California Bicycle Coalition, and the sponsor of the E-Bike Affordability Act, also shared his thoughts. “Compared to EVs, e-bikes are carbon crushers. This fact adds urgency to the effort to help communities move away from car dependence and its terrible impacts,” he said. “If California’s climate investments are supposed to prioritize solutions that have additional benefits, then this is a no-brainer. Investing in biking makes people healthier and happier, improves traffic safety, and reduces traffic congestion.”