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Washington D.C. went with a discount voucher rather than a rebate program.

Washington D.C. E-Bike Voucher Program To Launch April 1stWashington D.C. E-Bike Voucher Program To Launch April 1st

Washington, D.C., residents won’t be fooled on April 1st. That’s the day that the city’s new e-bike voucher program goes into effect. Those wanting to take part will need to act quickly, though, as it runs for barely more than two weeks, from April 1 to April 15.

The program is aimed at low-income households and initially, applications will only be accepted from those currently enrolled in SNAP, Medicaid or the D.C. Healthcare Alliance.

Those approved for vouchers will be able to receive up to $2000 off a cargo e-bike, $1500 off a regular e-bike, up to $250 off maintenance or disability accessories or up to $150 off a bike lock. Buyers will present the voucher to the retailer who will then discount the sticker price.

People wishing to apply can do so online or fill out an application at one of the pop-up events officials will be holding around the city.

The city plans to give out 250 vouchers in the first round, which can be used with any of a group of 12 D.C.-based retailers. Direct-to-consumer online purchases will not be eligible. The list of retailers can be found here.

In time the program will be open to “standard” applicants, which would be anyone not receiving a form of public assistance. Officials have funded the program to the tune of $500,000 and they believe that demand will exceed the number of vouchers they can provide.

Voucher programs seem to be increasing in popularity, in part, due to the ease of administration. They reduce administration over what is required to run a rebate program.

We’re glad to see a voucher program that includes provisions to make sure that the vouchers go to low-income households. Studies on EVs have shown that high-income households will take any sort of discount they get, but the lack of a voucher or rebate won’t prevent them from purchasing an EV. It makes sense that the same thinking would apply to e-bikes.

A voucher that takes $2000 off a cargo e-bike could make a significant difference for a low income family with a couple of kids. And taking $1500 off the cost of an e-bike could open up the possibility of a longer commute to a better job, while also cutting commuting costs.

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