California Bike Coalition To Lobby For Financial Incentives For New Electric Bike Purchases

BY Cameron Newland

Speaking at an event hosted by San Francisco’s The New Wheel, Dave Snyder, the executive director of the California Bicycle Coalition, announced that the organization is currently seeking donations from the electric bike industry, including retailers, manufacturers and consumers, as part of an effort to lobby for the creation of a $25 million bicycle purchase incentive program in the state of California. The program would offer purchase incentives targeted at both low-income residents and families who intend to purchase a traditional bicycle, an electric bicycle, a cargo bicycle, or a three-wheeled bicycle. It’s quite possible that the initial program would be a pilot program limited to state employees or another small group so as to measure the effectiveness of the program before a broader rollout, but the California Bicycle Coalition is obviously thinking bigger and may be planning for a program that would ultimately offer more than $25 million per year in subsidies.

The incentive program makes a lot of sense, considering that US electric car buyers get large federal and state incentives that can reach $10,000 or more, and that cost the state hundreds of millions of dollars per year.

So why the need for donations from the industry? Lobbying requires a lot of coordinated effort by well-connected professionals who work with legislators in the state capitol, and lobbying obviously costs money, as there are salaries to pay. Considering the large potential benefits that could eventually come from such an incentive program, it makes sense for large electric bike companies with operations in California (like Pedego, Accell North America [Raleigh, IZIP, Diamondback], Bosch, A2B, and Faraday) to support it. If everything goes to plan and the CBC is able to raise the money for a lobbying campaign, the incentive program could begin its planning stage in early 2017 and could roll out to the public as soon as 2017 or 2018.

To learn more and to watch the video of Snyder’s speech, head over to The New Wheel’s blog.