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Latest e-bike rebates claimed within minutes, yet more than half of released rebates remain unused

Rebates expire after 60 days, at which point they are released into the next batch offered
E-bike in Denver
Posted at 9:01 PM, Sep 06, 2022

DENVER — The City of Denver’s e-bike rebates continue to be hot commodities, with all of September’s rebates being claimed within minutes of them going online Tuesday. This left many disappointed and looking toward future rebate releases as the city aims to make residents less dependent on cars for travel.

A representative for Denver's Climate Action, Sustainability & Resiliency office said rebates are offered in batches monthly to make sure the city only offers rebates for which it has the money to pay out, and to help bike shops keep up with high demand.

Denver7 spoke to Luchia Brown, who was among the first to receive an e-bike rebate through the city’s program when it launched in April. Since then, it has become her primary source of travel around town.

“It feels so free,” Brown said. “I can go up hills. I can go long distance. It replaces a lot of car trips that I would normally take. Like this morning, I went out to a meeting and rode my bike instead of driving my car.”

Brown said her husband, who currently is still on his traditional bike, is ready to join the e-bike phenomenon

“He can’t keep up with me now,” she laughed.

So Brown logged on to the city’s website first thing Tuesday morning to snag a rebate for him. She had her mouse at the ready to submit button when the system was scheduled to open, but no such luck.

“8 a.m. got on, opened it up and it still had last month’s message that it would open September 6th at 8 a.m.,” Brown said. “Well, it was 8, 8:15, 8:30, and it still hadn’t opened. And so I called 311, and the 311 operator also went and looked at the site and saw the same issue. It wasn’t opened.”

A representative from the city told Denver7 she wasn’t aware of any widespread tech issues like this, but did say that many were left disappointed since the demand was so high. She said the city will be providing more opportunities to claim rebates.

Since the program launched in April, 3,108 rebates have been claimed, totaling about $3.1 million paid out by the city. That represents 47% of the accepted applications being redeemed, meaning more than half have gone unused. The rebates expire after 60 days, at which point they are released into the next batch offered, according to the city.

“Given that these rebates disappear in an instant, it seems like a lot of interest,” Brown said. “And every time now when I go places and park my bike — I used to never see bikes — now, they’re always there. I’m not alone. So that’s nice.”

The next release of rebates is scheduled for Monday, October 3 at 8 a.m. You can subscribe to the Climate Action, Sustainability & Resiliency office’s newsletter ahead of time to be notified on release days.