To reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the transportation sector, we need to both electrify all the cars, trucks, and buses on our roads and reduce the number of vehicles and vehicle-miles traveled. Electric bikes are a great option to replace car trips, because they can step in where a trip on a regular bike might be a bit much - either because the trip's too long, too hilly, or requires too much cargo. Every time you take an e-bike out instead of a car, you reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the localized air pollution that harms human health, and congestion, not to mention getting some exercise - a win, win, win!
Already riding an Electric bike?
What’s an E-Bike?
Electric bikes, or e-bikes, are a great alternative to a vehicle. More and more e-bikes are being put on the market all the time and there are many options to meet your needs. There are two basic types of e-bike:
- Pedal Assist: The electric motor engages only when you are pedaling
- Throttle: The motor engages when you press on the throttle, whether you’re pedaling or not
Most e-bike types will have a throttle or pedal assist option...or both!
Types of E-Bikes
E-bikes come in lots of shapes and sizes. Cost varies from a couple hundred to a couple thousand dollars. Currently, there are no rebates for e-bikes, but that may be changing soon.
How Far Can I Go?
The range of bikes depends on a variety of factors (regenerative charging, battery size, pedal assist vs throttle, weight, etc.). However, the typical range is somewhere between 20-100 miles.
How Do I Charge?
Charging an e-bike does not require any special equipment. You either plug the bike directly into a regular household outlet or remove the battery pack from the bike and charge it. Either way, the equipment you need – charging chord, charger – comes with the bike. Depending on the bike, it takes 2-6 hours to fully charge the battery.
In Massachusetts, there is no rebate available for electric bikes. However, we are advocating for the state to implement one - particularly for low- and moderate-income consumers.
Rhode Island offers the Erika Niedowski Memorial Electric Bicycle Rebate Program. Rhode Island residents over the age of 18 can apply to receive a rebate of $400 (or 30% of bike value, whichever is lesser) on an eligible e-bike purchased or picked up from a store in Rhode Island. Income-qualified applicants can receive a rebate of $1,000 (or 75% of bike value, whichever is lesser). Rebates are limited to two per household.
- ALWAYS wear a helmet
- DO NOT ride on sidewalks
- CHECK if e-bikes are allowed on special trails
- LOCK your bike when not in use