California Adopts E-bike Program 

In early May, bicycle enthusiast Dave Snyder called upon his fellow Californians to sign an electronic petition urging their state government to pass a bill known as the E-Bike Affordability. Snyder says this bill aims to get “10,000 e-bikes into the hands of (mostly low-income) Californians.” The bill would create a statewide program offering rebates for people who purchase e-bikes. This bill comes at a time when many countries across the world are making decisions on how to address the growing crisis of climate change. 

CalBike, the leading organization behind this bill, calls for a future filled with bicycles and safe streets. Their latest project, advocating for the use of e-bikes, lists important reasons for the state to invest in this alternative form of transportation. CalBike believes that by getting e-bikes into the hands of more people, the amount of bicycling will be significantly increased. This, in turn, causes roads to be less congested, and fewer car accidents will result in this as well. CalBike demands streets become more adept to handle not just cars, but bicycles too. 

In early July, Gavin Newson, California’s governor, signed the CalBike bill. The $10 million e-bike incentive program was approved to be a part of next year’s budget. Furthermore, bikes will be available and designed for “people with disabilities” and additional e-cargo bikes will be made for people “carrying equipment or passengers.” The e-bike project will be in effect no later than July 1st, 2022. Snyder, director of CalBike, believes e-bikes can be the major change in California’s goal to reduce greenhouse gases and air pollution. Unsurprisingly, as is traditional in most US states, Californians use their cars even for trips that are ten kilometers or less.   

Governor Newsom also pledged to end gas-powered sales by 2035 in the state of California. State assembly member Tasha Boerner Horvath, an advocate of the CalBike bill states that “E-bikes help us cut out shorter car trips, reduce emissions, and move closer to our ambitious climate goals. Now is the time to make E-bikes affordable for all Californians.” Perhaps in the future, more states will see the positive effects of opting for e-bike transportation and, in turn, adopt similar legislation as we move towards a greener earth.