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B.C.’s new e-bike rebate program sparking interest at Kelowna bike shop

Click to play video: 'B.C. introducing new e-bike rebate program Thursday'
B.C. introducing new e-bike rebate program Thursday
WATCH: The provincial government is rolling out a new e-bike rebate program on Thursday, aimed at getting more people to take up active transportation. As Jayden Wasney reports, since the announcement, one Kelowna e-bike store has seen a jump in interest – May 30, 2023

Beginning June 1st, British Columbia is investing more than $6 million in rebates, which will allow as many as 9,000 people to get behind an e-bike at a lesser cost.

“E-bikes are becoming commonplace in B.C. as a convenient alternative to motor-vehicle trips, but their price can put them out of reach for people,” said Rob Fleming, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure.

“By making rebates available and basing the rebate amount on income, we can make e-bikes and clean transportation more affordable and accessible for everyone.”

Rebates will be available to B.C. residents over 19, and will be based on a person’s income, ranging from $350 to $1400.

B.C. e-bike rebates by income threshold. BCebikerebates.ca

Those looking to take advantage of the rebate must provide a statement of income from last year’s taxes, get approved, buy a bike that costs at least $2,000 and submit their receipts to claim the rebate.

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Shortly after the province’s announcement on May 25, one e-bike retailer in Kelowna says they’ve already seen a steady rise in those interested in purchasing an e-bike once the rebates shift into effect.

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“Even in the last week here now, we’ve just been seeing it constantly,” explained service manager at Full Charge Cycles, Thomas Littlejohn.

“Everybody is coming through the doors, just curious. They’ve heard about it, and they’re interested that’s for sure.”

Click to play video: 'Okanagan invention makes it easier to haul E bikes'
Okanagan invention makes it easier to haul E bikes

Littlejohn tells Global News that e-bikes are becoming a more common sight in Kelowna, because of how accessible they are for everyone.

“You’re seeing a wide demographic of age groups now, because the accessibility is just so great now,” said Littlejohn.

“You can get people of all ages, of all builds out on bikes now, and they’re not having to strain themselves and stuff, so yeah its grown substantially.”

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One Kelowna resident says she plans on buying a new e-bike for herself on Thursday, after hearing about the new rebate program.

Click to play video: 'Penticton residents hold meeting against protected bike lane'
Penticton residents hold meeting against protected bike lane

“It’s perfect,” said Kelowna resident, Donna Shoemaker.

“The more people that get out and ride and exercise, it’s better for the everybody and for health reasons and everything so it’s awesome.”

The province has also teamed up with HUB Cycling, a charitable not-for-profit group based out of Vancouver, to offer online and in-person courses, designed to help those new to e-bikes make the adjustment a smoother ride.

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