Going the extra mile for a more sustainable future just got a whole lot easier.
With new rebates designed to encourage micromobility, Tucson Electric Power customers can now save $100 off the price of an electrically-powered bike, or “e-bike.” Low-income customers can save even more, with rebates of up to $600 off the purchase price.
With the use of bicycles and scooters more popular than ever, e-bikes are an affordable and effective way to make small trips. By replacing gas-powered vehicle trips, e-bikes can help save on transportation costs, which create significant burdens for low-income residents. They also help riders achieve their personal climate action goals by reducing emissions.
Jay Young, a downtown resident and the executive director of a local nonprofit, said he has been able to reduce his vehicle trips by about 90 percent since getting an e-bike in 2020.
“I’ve always ridden my bike, ever since I moved here for grad school. But when I got my e-bike, all those two-to-four-mile trips just got a lot easier,” he said. “Now, I’m really only using the car if I need a bigger trip to a home improvement or retail store or if it’s raining or just way too hot.”
Jay purchased the bike to reduce climate impacts, as transportation produces the highest share of greenhouse gases. He also found it much less costly than driving. But there was something else about the experience that surprised him: “It just brings a lot more joy to my life. Cars in general limit the human experience and it feels like I’m more detached. On the bike, I feel more connected to the community and it’s just so much more enjoyable.”
Jay often rides with his wife, Rani, who also has an e-bike that she uses to commute to her teaching job at the University of Arizona. They enjoy Tucson’s excellent bike infrastructure, from bike boulevards to protected bike lanes that make it safe and convenient to get around, even while avoiding major streets.
The wide variety of available e-bikes range from light models best suited for quick commutes to heavier versions that can carry more cargo.
“We’re pleased to offer this rebate program in support of our customers’ transportation preferences, since electric bikes can be a viable alternative for some vehicle trips,” said Camila Martins-Bekat, Principal of Transportation Electrification. “The program is structured to connect low-income customers with clean energy options, ensuring all of our customers can share in the benefits of transportation electrification.”
Low-income buyers will also receive a helmet and locks in partnership with the City of Tucson Bicycle & Pedestrian Program and the Pima County Department of Environmental Quality (PDEQ). “PDEQ’s Clean Air Program is proud to support TEP’s e-bike rebate program,” said Natalie Shepp, Pima County’s Environmental Planning Manager. “Each trip made with an e-bike is one less polluting vehicle on the road, resulting in cleaner air for all of us.”
Customers can purchase a qualifying bike locally or online, with a two-rebate limit per customer. Rebate requests must be submitted within 60 days of purchase.