CoPIRG highlights state’s e-bike leadership as National Drive Electric Week kicks off

Media Contacts
Alexandra Simon

Former Public Health Advocate, CoPIRG Foundation

DENVER – As National Drive Electric Week kicks off, CoPIRG Foundation’s newest analysis, the 2023 State of Electric Bikes in Colorado, highlights how Colorado has set the bar nationally in funding, education, and research and data collection contributing to growing e-bike ridership.

With battery powered motors that assist riders as they pedal, electric bikes enable longer trips than traditional bicycles and can increase options for a broader range of users. “Colorado’s leading the nation in expanding access to e-bikes for residents statewide, and both Colorado and Denver are models for cities and states across the country,” said CoPIRG Foundation public health advocate Alex Simon. “Electric bikes are an ideal option for many shorter commutes to school or work, allowing people a cleaner, more efficient travel option than polluting vehicles that can clog our roads. Now’s a great time to highlight the work being done across the state to leverage the tremendous potential of e-bikes.”

The analysis shows the state has invested an estimated $102 million in point of sale rebates and grants for e-bikes, as both funding and scope of electric bike ownership and ridership programs increased over the past three years.

As part of a three-year project funded by the U.S. Department of Energy Smart Mobility program, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) conducted a study using data from the CEO’s Can Do Colorado Pilot eBike program and found that compared to shared micromobility, e-bike users tend to be older than manual bike users, while 34% of e-bike trips replaced car trips.

Data from Denver’s rebate program also shows that those who completed a survey rode their e-bikes an average of 26 miles per week, replacing 3.4 round trip car trips. The reported e-bike trips could produce up to $1M in cumulative savings from avoided fuel and electricity costs.

Colorado’s own Bicycle Colorado is leading the effort nationally to educate the public around safe and responsible ebike usage by partnering with national organizations People for Bikes and League of American Bicyclists to launch E-Bike Smart, a free, online e-bike education series. Starting in August 2023, the course is designed to help riders of all ages and experience levels learn best practices for safely and responsibly riding an e-bike.