RCEA’s $500* Public Rebate for Electric Bikes
ALL FUNDS RESERVED
as of May 15 2020
The Redwood Coast Energy Authority launched a public rebate for electric bikes on Earth Day, Wednesday, April 22 at 9:00 am. The $500 rebate*, funded by RCEA’s Community Choice Energy program, aims to make bike commuting a viable option for RCEA customers who wish to purchase an e-bike to replace vehicle trips. The rebate program, which is the first of its kind in the county, will run through October 2020, or until the funding has run out.
$41,500 in funding was initially available for the program, which is equivalent to 83 rebates. Applications are no longer being accepted as all funds are reserved.
Two-wheeled commuters are on the rise, both locally and internationally, as people are discovering the extended range, easy commute, health benefits, and unfettered joy that battery-powered motor-assisted bikes can provide. E-bikes can be an excellent alternative to personal automobiles for daily transportation needs—they can be easily modified to carry more cargo than a traditional bike, produce no exhaust emissions during transit, and allow users to ride for miles without getting tired or sweaty. Those that find longer trips by regular bicycle too challenging or have other constraints to traveling by bike may find that electric-assist bikes are a practical, energy efficient, and liberating way to get around.
RCEA encourages customers to buy through local bike shops.
* 50% of the cost of the e-bike up to $500
The terms and conditions, approved products list, and other key information about electric bikes can be found below.
Terms and Conditions
The application for the rebate has been removed. Please see the terms and conditions for more information about the rebate.
E-BIKE REBATE PROGRAM TERMS AND CONDITIONS
- ELIGIBILITY: Customers eligible to receive a rebate under RCEA’s E-Bike Program (“Program”) must:
- Be an existing RCEA Community Choice Energy residential electricity customer account holder of a service account that is paid current as of the date of application;
- Purchase an E-bike model listed on the RCEA Approved Products List; and
- Submit a properly completed application including documentation showing proof of purchase.
- RESTRICTIONS: RESTRICTIONS: Maximum of one e-bike rebate per residential account service address (or unit number for multifamily residences with a shared electric account) every 5 years. Rebates are subject to funding availability; submittal of a completed application will not guarantee receipt of a rebate. Applications are received and rebates are issued on a first-come first-served basis until funding is depleted or the Program changes. Applicants placed on a Program waiting list may qualify for the rebate if additional funds become available during the Program. All incentives are final, and customers are not eligible to apply for larger incentives from the same program should they become available. Rebates may not exceed the final amount shown on the submitted receipt for the e-bike. Customers will receive 50% of the value of the purchased e-bike up to a $500 rebate. RCEA staff and Board of Directors are not eligible for this rebate.
- APPROVED PRODUCTS: This rebate incentive is available only to purchases of products listed on RCEA’s Approved Products List, available on RCEA’s website or in print at our office. Additional product models may be suggested to RCEA for review and inclusion on the Approved Products List; however, no rebates will be issued for purchases made prior to inclusion on the Approved Products List. Applications submitted for product models removed from the Approved Product List will be processed if the purchase was made prior to removal from the Approved Products List.
- REBATE PAYMENTS: Rebate payments will be made by check payable to the electric service account holder and will be issued within 30 days following application approval. For service accounts held in more than one name, rebate checks will be issued payable to the applicant. RCEA reserves the right to request a completed and signed IRS Form W-9 before releasing the rebate payment.
- LIMITATIONS: RCEA reserves the right to deny a rebate to any individual deemed, in RCEA’s sole discretion, to be violating the terms, conditions, and restrictions of the Program.
- TAX LIABILITY and CREDITS: RCEA is not responsible for any taxes which may be imposed on the customer as a result of the rebates provided by the Program. The customer is solely responsible for identifying and applying for tax credits, if any are available.
- DISPUTES: Except where otherwise limited by law, RCEA reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to make final determinations regarding any disputed issues about the Program, including but not limited to eligibility and rebate amount.
- PROGRAM CHANGES: RCEA reserves the right to change, modify, or terminate the Program at any time without any liability except as expressly stated herein.
- PROGRAM TIMEFRAME: The Program will launch on April 22, 2020. No rebates will be issued for purchases made prior to Program launch. The Program will expire upon the earliest to occur: (i) October 31, 2020, (ii) when funds are depleted, or (iii) when the Program is terminated.
- DISCLAIMER: RCEA makes no guarantee, representations or warranties, expressed or implied, regarding the implementation or use of product purchased pursuant to this Program. Use of any product and acceptance of materials used is solely the customer’s responsibility. RCEA does not endorse any product that may be included on an Approved Products List, and such inclusion may not be used for marketing purposes other than to state the fact of its purchase as eligible for a rebate under this Program.
- CUSTOMER DISCLOSURE AUTHORIZATION: By signing the Rebate Application form, the applicant confirms they are the service account holder of the account identified in the Application form, or authorized representative thereof, and authorize RCEA to disclose customer’s name as a participant in the Program.
Approved Products List
(last update 5/12/20)
|BH Bikes||Evo Cross Pro|
|BH Bikes||Rebel Cross PW|
|BH Bikes||Evo City Pro|
|BH Bikes||Evo City Nitro|
|BH Bikes||Atom Diamond Wave|
|Butchers & Bicycles||MK1-E|
|Cannondale||SuperSix EVO Neo|
|Del Sol||Shoreliner i/O|
|Del Sol||Railer Plus i/O|
|Del Sol||Lxi i/O|
|Del Sol||Lxi Flow IO|
|Electra||Townie Go! 7D|
|Electra||Townie Loft Go! 8i|
|Electra||Townie Commute Go! 8i|
|Electra||Vale Go! 9D EQ|
|Electra||Café Moto Go!|
|Electra||Townie Path Go! 10D EQ|
|Electric Bike Company||Model C|
|Electric Bike Company||Model S|
|Electric Bike Company||Model X|
|Electric Bike Company||Model Y|
|Electric Bike Company||Model M|
|Electric Bike Company||Model R|
|Haro MTB||Double Peak i/O|
|Lectric Bikes||Lectric XP|
|Nakto||City Electric Bicycle|
|Nakto||Folding Electric Bicycle|
|Pedego||Ford Super Cruiser|
|Priority Bicycles||Priority Embark E-bike|
|Rad Power Bikes||RadRunner|
|Rad Power Bikes||RadRover|
|Rad Power Bikes||RadWagon|
|Rad Power Bikes||RadMini|
|Rad Power Bikes||RadCity|
|Riese & Muller||Superdelite|
|Riese & Muller||Multicharger|
|Riese & Muller||Load|
|Riese & Muller||Packster|
|Riese & Muller||Homage|
|Riese & Muller||Culture|
|Riese & Muller||Nevo|
|Riese & Muller||Roadster|
|Riese & Muller||Cruiser|
|Riese & Muller||Tinker|
|Super 73||Original 2018|
|Trek||Super Commuter+ 7|
|Van Dessel Cycles||Passepartout|
|Yuba||Electric Boda Boda|
|Yuba||Spicy Curry Bosch Electric|
What is an E-Bike?
Electronic bicycles, or e-bikes, are bicycles that have been equipped with a motor to provide the bicycle with extra assistance or “boost”, often denoted as a pedal assist. There is currently a wide variety of e-bikes available, including fully automated e-bikes and pedal-assisted systems. E-bikes offer easier commutes and extended riding range. While e-bikes are available to people of all age ranges, they can also offer a more accessible ride for people who are older or have disabilities.
Why Consider an E-Bike?
The recent popularity of electric bikes has led to more widespread information on the types of e-bikes available, what to consider when buying one, how they help the environment, and some of the challenges that riders may encounter.
If you are interested in buying an e-bike, click through the following toggles for material to consider before making a purchase. You can also visit this Verge article titled How To Buy an Electric Bike for a break down of e-bike classes, power, motors, and more.
Although e-bikes are not quite as sustainable as a conventional bicycle trip due to the energy they require to power, e-bikes can still have a massive environmental impact if they are used to replace shorter car trips.
More than half of driving trips in the U.S. are shorter than 10 miles. E-bikes provide riders with a convenient option for any trip, ranging from running quick errands to work commutes, by maintaining higher average speeds than a bicycle. This encourages reduction in traffic and road congestion, all while reducing fossil fuels.
E-bikes can cost anywhere from $500-$9,000 but most cost between $1,000 and $3,000.
Fuel costs are minimal – e-bike batteries are ~0.5-1.5 kWh (compared to 40-80 kWh for an electric car).
Calculate the real range of your e-bike:
Volts x Amp-Hours = Watt-Hours (20 Watt-Hours = 1 mile of travel)
36 V x 10 Ah=360 Wh x ((1 mile)/(20 Wh))=18 mile range
Overall cost to charge = Electricity Cost ($/kWh) x Battery Size (kWh)
$0.12/kWh x 0.5 kWh battery=$0.06 per charge
Even if you fully charged and discharged your e-bike battery every day for a year, your total fuel costs would only be $22. Most e-bike batteries can be fully charged in 4-5 hours with a regular wall outlet.
Cost for new e-bike battery (1,000+ cycles): $500-$800
Cost for new e-bike motor (10,000 miles): $150-$200
When looking at an e-bike, it is imperative to consider the following mechanics:
Motor location. There are normally two main types of motors. Mid-drive motors are normally positioned in the middle of the bike, usually between the pedals. Hub-drive motors are located in the center of either the front wheel or, more often, the rear wheel.
Power. The main measurements for power in e-bikes are watts (W), amp-hours (Ah), and volts (V). Check to see if an e-bike lists battery’s voltage and amp-hours (or continuous amperage). To understand how much range you will be able to get out of an e-bike, multiply the amp-hours and volts. This will give you the number of watts that can be delivered by the bike per hour, or watt-hours.
Bicycle Type. There are many types of e-bike, each ranging in price, battery size, and speed. Some types include: cruisers, mountain, road, city, folding, and cargo.
Class. In the U.S., there are three classes of e-bikes.
- A Class 1 e-bike has a pedal-assist and no throttle.
- A Class 2 e-bike offers a throttle assist and maximum speed of 20 miles per hour.
- A Class 3 e-bike is pedal-assist only and does not have a throttle, and has a maximum speed of 28 miles per hour.
E-bikes generally weigh between 40 and 60 lbs. Standard bikes weigh between 18 and 26 lbs.
E-bikes can’t be carried on roof racks. You’ll need a platform rack that supports the wheels to reduce wobbling and evenly distribute the weight of the bike.
E-bikes can be difficult to maneuver onto racks or up stairs. Some come with stair climb or walking assist functions, but you can usually remove the battery and carry it separately to reduce the bike’s weight.
It is helpful, before making a purchase, to look at the benefits of acquiring an e-bike from a local retailer versus an online retailer. Call your local retailers to see who is selling e-bikes currently in your area or look online to see what options are available.
Certain e-bike manufacturers offer warranties for their e-bikes. Consider if a warranty may be beneficial and, if so, examine the specifics of warranties provided by manufacturers before purchasing.
E-bikes can be ridden even in rain and snow, but should be stored long-term in a cool, dry place.
If your e-bike is going to be stored for long periods outside or in a damp garage, take off the battery and bring it inside. Batteries last longer if stored indoors in a dry, temperate environment.
E-bikes can be more susceptible to theft due to their higher costs and expensive electronic components. Invest in a good bike lock and take the battery off the bike and bring it with you if you have to park in a high-risk area.
Are you concerned about your electric bike’s range? Would you like to know some tricks for extending your e-bike range when you have that extra errand to run but don’t have that much charge left in your battery?
Electric bike range is a common concern among e-bikers and I would like to offer some tips that will help you make the most of your electric bike ride. Some of these tips are obvious but I have thrown in some additional tips that may help you add a few more miles or kilometers to your e-bike range.
Electric Bike Range Tips
1. Okay, let’s get the most obvious one out of the way. Make sure your battery is fully charged. The reason I mention this is because sometimes it is easy to forget about charging your battery after a hard day at work. Create a routine so that you immediately plug in your battery when you get home.
2. Pedal harder! This may be obvious too but it needs to be mentioned. For instance you may need to run some extra errands and realize that you don’t have that much juice (charge in your battery) left. You could reduce the assist setting (or use less throttle) and pedal more to compensate for a low battery. I have limped my e-bike home this way without totally draining the battery.
Another big tip is to pedal harder at the right time. A lot of energy is consumed when you accelerate from a stop. If you pedal hard to get your bike off the line this will help conserve your battery energy. Additionally, hills take a lot of energy so pedaling a little harder on the hills will help improve your range.
3. Take it easy and enjoy a slow ride. Wind resistance can really drain you and your battery’s energy. If you need to extend your range, riding a little slower will reduce the wind drag. Oh yeah and riding slower is usually safer!
4. Consider a second charger. If you have a long commute to work and errands to run, you may need more range than your battery can provide. You could have a charger at work so that you can recharge during the day. And if your boss is concerned about the electricity bill you can tell them it will cost pennies to charge your e-bike battery!
5. Buy a second battery? If you have a really long commute or ride route that you like to do it may be worth buying a second battery to add to your bike. Some electric bike manufacturers offer the option of adding a second battery to double your range. Check with your local shop or e-bike manufacturer for more info.
6. Keep your tire pressure up. This will make a big difference in how much energy (electric & human) is required to move you and your e-bike around. Low tire pressure can make your electric bike feel sluggish. For normal city style e-bikes I recommend a tire pressure of 50-60 psi. Don’t over inflate your tires though because it can lead to a very rough ride! Here is a floor pump I recommend.
7. Replace your old battery. If you have had your e-bike and battery for a while, the amount of energy your battery can hold will most likely have decreased. I recommend replacing your battery once the decreased range gets annoying. Your local electric bike shop can help you with this or you could contact your e-bike manufacturer.
8. Use the regenerative braking feature. Some electric bike systems have a regenerative braking feature (Bionx for example) that turns the motor into a generator in order to act like a brake and put a little bit of charge back into your battery. Typically this is activated by a sensor on one of the brake levers (usually the rear brake lever). Please note that there is debate in the e-bike world as to how much energy is actually recaptured using regenerative braking.
9. Take care of your battery! If you can, store your battery at room temperature. Batteries don’t like really cold or hot temperatures. In general it is a good idea to charge your battery often to keep it topped off. If you don’t ride your electric bike much in the winter, store your battery fully charged and charge it every couple of months. Try not to leave it plugged in for more than 24 hrs.
10. Oil your chain. This will improve your pedaling efficiency and if you have a motor that powers through the cranks of your bike (Panasonic or Bosch for example) it will improve your motor’s efficiency too. After you oil your chain let it sit for a few minutes before you wipe off the excess oil with a rag.