SACRAMENTO — Following a competitive grant solicitation, the California Air Resources Board has chosen San Diego-based nonprofit organization Pedal Ahead as the administrator to implement California’s statewide Electric Bicycle Incentive Project. The equity-focused program is expected to officially launch in the first quarter of 2023. The goal is to encourage adoption of electric bicycles as a replacement for in-town motor vehicle trips by helping low-income Californians afford to purchase e-bikes. Details of the new program, including the structure for incentives, continue to be discussed and developed through a public process.
"E-bikes are awesome. And now California is one step closer to providing 'on-the-saddle,' point-of-sale incentives to help income-eligible folks purchase electric bicycles," CARB Deputy Executive Officer Craig Segall said. "This will turn more car trips into bike trips by giving people access to electric bicycles any time they would like. Congratulations to Pedal Ahead, an organization with proven, on-the-ground experience effectively matching low-income residents with e-bikes. This program will be one more way California is helping to ensure everyone in our state has access to clean transportation as we work to meet California's ambitious clean air and climate goals."
In 2020, Pedal Ahead piloted a program in San Diego County that prioritized e-bike distributions to low-income individuals and tracked average daily miles used to ensure benefits to individual physical health, as well as reduced car trips which lead to air pollution emissions reductions, and less traffic and congestion. The organization distributed nearly 400 bicycles throughout underserved communities in San Diego County amounting to 225,000 bicycle miles.
Pedal Ahead President and Founder Ed Clancy said, “Pedal Ahead’s innovative approach to community engagement, and its operational expertise and model for connecting with underserved communities,” made his organization a great choice to support CARB’s Electric Bicycle Incentive Project. “Through this partnership, we look forward to providing a second-to-none support system for stimulating a culture of active, healthy lifestyles,” he added. “Our goal is simple: to provide resources for new habits or options for healthier living and socio-economic advancement. Through increased e-bike use we are seeing improved air quality and individual health; and low-cost high impact mobility.”
Among the possible criteria being examined for the program are income eligibility, electric bike types, retail support, educational needs, and other factors.
The state Legislature allocated $10 million for CARB to create an Electric Bicycle Incentives Project to help people afford to purchase electric bicycles. California State Assemblymember Tasha Boerner Horvath was instrumental in supporting the $10 million set aside for electric bicycles.
About Pedal Ahead
The nonprofit Pedal Ahead organization was launched in September 2020 with funding from the County of San Diego Community Enhancement Program, supported by Supervisor Chair Fletcher, with additional funding from The Left Coast Fund and The San Diego Foundation’s COVID-19 Response Fund. Pedal Ahead is an official California charitable organization (501c3).Our mission is to provide socially conscious transportation through active lifestyles.
CARB's mission is to promote and protect public health, welfare, and ecological resources through effective reduction of air pollutants while recognizing and considering effects on the economy. CARB is the lead agency for climate change programs and oversees all air pollution control efforts in California to attain and maintain health-based air quality standards.