“E-Bike Rodeo” to let Austinites test ride electric bicycles

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Rebate program from Austin Energy helps customers buy e-bikes

AUSTIN, Texas — Interest in electric bikes is booming. On Saturday, Oct. 8, from 9 – 11 am, people will be able to test-ride e-bikes at the “E-Bike Rodeo” at the Texas state Capitol. Experts there will teach event attendees the skills and precautions needed to ride a e-bike safely and tell them about an Austin Energy rebate program designed to help customers purchase an e-bike. The event is sponsored by Environment Texas, Austin Energy, Bike Texas and Ghisallo Cycling Initiative.

“E-bikes open up the world of two-wheeled transportation to more of us. They extend ride ranges, make it easier to conquer hilly terrain and increase the cargo load that someone can carry. In sum, an e-bike makes it vastly easier to get around without a car,” said Luke Metzger, Environment Texas’ executive director. “Replacing car trips with zero-carbon options such as e-bikes is one of the best ways to fight climate change.”

In the United States, e-bikes outsold electric cars and plug-in hybrids in 2021. This clean transportation technology is building off a pandemic-era boom when many people sought alternatives to enclosed public transit and picked up socially distanced outdoor hobbies. However, as pandemic restrictions have eased, the demand for e-bikes has remained strong. 

“E-bikes help people commute, recreate, or run errands without producing more exhaust from vehicles. This is imperative to reducing our impacts on water quality and air quality,” said Austin City Council Member Paige Ellis, who is Chair of the Mobility Committee. “This technology helps reduce pollution and can help family budgets stretch further.”

Advocates point out e-bikes can extend the range someone is willing to bike to work, the grocery store, or anywhere else with proper bike-friendly infrastructure. This in turn can reduce the number of cars on our roads – an important goal to reduce the transportation sector’s climate impact. 

“We are super excited to be working with Environment Texas to demonstrate how electric bikes are fun, practical and support riders with a range of needs and fitness levels. We see the features, performance and cost continually improve since we started providing eBike rebates over 10 years ago,” said Amy Atchley Sr. Lead EV Equity Program of Austin Energy.