New CA Vouchers Law Provides Funding For E-Bike Purchases

Nov 6, 2019

CA SB400 Makes E-Bikes More Affordable!

On September 9, 2019, CA SB 400 was passed (aka The E-Bikes for Mobility Bill).

What does that mean for Californians?

California already has a Clean Vehicles for All Program in place. If you are a qualifying lower-income California resident, you can use the program to trade-in an eligible inefficient car for a voucher. The voucher (which averages $7,500 according to the Bay Area Air Quality Management District) helps you to purchase an environmentally-friendly mobility option such as:

  • A plug-in, electric, or hybrid vehicle.
  • A transit pass
  • Or a car-sharing membership.

SB 400 expands the current program to allow you to purchase an electric bicycle or a membership to a bike-sharing program with the program voucher.

How Much Do E-Bikes Cost?

E-bikes aren’t cheap per se, and the price is an obstacle that is holding some Californians back from making the switch. The National Bicy­cle Dealers Association (NBDA) reports that the average e-bike retails for $3,500, about triple the average cost of a regular bike. Not to mention that specialized e-bikes can cost upwards of $12,000 or more. The recent passing of SB 400 helps eligible California residents to cover the cost, making e-bikes more accessible.

Are E-Bikes Growing in Popularity?

A growing number of Americans are gravitating toward electric bikes to reduce their environmental footprint as well as for convenience, functionality, health benefits, and fun. In fact, sales (per unit) of bikes with electric motors grew by 73% in 2018 to about 400,000 e-bikes, according to the NPD Retail Tracking Service. This was after more than doubling the year before. Meanwhile, traditional bike sales fell 8% last year.

Why The Push For Cleaner Mobility Options?

Although the U.S. is home to only 30% of the automobiles in the world, it contributes to half of the world’s pollution. Further, in the U.S., motor vehicles cause 75% of carbon monoxide pollution, one-third of the air pollution that produces smog, and 27% of greenhouse gas emissions.

In California alone, cars are the main source of carbon dioxide pollution (accounting for 38%). They are also the main source of smog-forming pollutions and soot which cause more than 5,000 deaths in our state each year.

This program was established to target residents in the communities that are most impacted by air pollution, making it easier for them to trade old, heavy-polluting vehicles in for zero or near-zero emission alternatives. It is currently available to residents of the San Joaquin Valley, South Coast, and Bay Area. Click here to learn more.

Are You Ready to Make the Swap?

As avid cyclists at Bike Legal, we see the value of electric bikes as an environmentally-friendly alternative to inefficient vehicles. You can ride them to work without breaking a sweat if you so choose, but can also pedal along to get a good work out if that’s what you’re after.

While they do come with a much heftier price tag than most standard bicycles, the CA Clean Cars For All program with the recent addition thanks to SB 400 will be able to help many Californians who are ready to make the switch.

Read the full Senate Bill No. 400 here.

Learn more about California’s Clean Cars For All Program

Have you been the victim of a cycling accident in California? Contact us today at 1-877-Bike-Legal for a free case review. We also have partners in almost all 50 states who only handle cycling accidents. Please let us know if there is a need.



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