8 New Insights From Denver's EBike Incentive Program

Mar 7, 2023 7:44:04 PM / by Nelle R. Pierson

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In 2022, 4,734 Denver residents became new ebike owners. The city's ebike incentive program is considered successful climate and economic policy, and now we have the data to back it up.


It was a rush to watch the program unfold. The rebates were so popular the monthly allotments were gone within minutes, ebikes were on back-order, local and national coverage was continuous, and the Governor even enacted the first official statewide ebike day. 


Up until this point, the city's ebike incentive program has been considered successful climate and economic policy, but now we have the data to back it up and bolster cities looking to replicate their model. Now you can find all that information in one place.  

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“We believe you can’t fundamentally grow what you don’t measure,” said Ride Report CEO Michael Schwartz. “The work to popularize and eventually normalize biking for transportation requires changing hearts, minds, and dollar signs. That’s why we’re committed to delivering more data to policymakers, agency staff, advocates, researchers, and the industry overall in the work to legitimize the power of ebike incentive programs.”


Some example insights:

  • RMI (conservatively) calculates $1M in cumulative annual savings from the program.

  • RMI calculates that the program saved 0.94 lb CO2e per dollar spent, for a total of 2,040 MT CO2e avoided emissions per year.

  • 29% of Denver ebike redeemers who completed the program survey indicated they were new to riding.

  • 71% of the same survey respondents reported using their gas vehicles less often.

  • 67% of the program funding went to income qualified residents.

  • 65% of Ride Report's Ride App users were riding at least once daily, and 90% were riding weekly.

  • The average trip length of Ride App users was 3.3 miles, with 84% of trips less than 5 miles, and 65% of trips less than 3 miles.

  • During the program rollout, shared bike and scooter trips in Denver exceeded the highest recorded ridership since launching in 2018, demonstrating the complementary nature of the two city-supported programs.


Ben Holland at the Rocky institute emphasizes, "The success of the Denver rebate program—and its clear impact on reducing transportation emissions—suggests that policymakers need to take e-bikes much more seriously as a climate action tool.”

“Data from popular electric bicycle incentive programs like Denver’s will help advocates, policymakers, and program administrators across the United States develop more and better e-bike incentives,” said Ashley Seaward, PeopleForBikes’ deputy director of state and local policy. “We are thrilled to partner with Ride Report to share the success story of Denver’s e-bike rebate program and look forward to leveraging this model for future city, state, and federal programs.”

Congratulations to the broad coalition of organizations, advocates and agency staff who, since 2019, have worked tirelessly to change the way everyday people and decsion-makers think about climate and transportation policy. And thanks to contributors: City and County of Denver, PeopleForBikes, Bicycle Colorado, and Rocky Mountain Institute.


From the Global Micromobility Index to real-time scooter compliance, Ride Report is the leading platform for actionable multimodal insights and analysis. Send me a note if you want to learn more or collaborate. 

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Nelle R. Pierson

Written by Nelle R. Pierson