Using E-Bike Purchase Incentive Programs to Expand the Market.

Portland State University (PSU) researchers are examining how purchase incentive programs can expand the current e-bike market. This research’s latest product is a white paper released earlier this month: “Using E-Bike Purchase Incentive Programs to Expand the Market – North American Trends and Recommended Practices (PDF).”

Cameron Bennett co-authored the paper with John MacArthur of PSU, Christopher Cherry of the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and Luke Jones of Valdosta State University. The authors reviewed impacts and statistics from around 75 current, past, and proposed e-bike incentive programs in North America and interviewed industry leaders, academics, and incentive program managers to identify critical considerations. The paper offers methods of identifying the most effective program structure for the incentive provider’s priorities and helpful information on how to administer and track the program. 

Funded by the National Institute for Transportation and Communities (NITC) and PeopleForBikes, the multi-part research project has three stages:

1. Tracking current and proposed e-bike incentive programs in North America (for more on that, see our Jan 2022 story or see the live online tracker spreadsheet);

2. Evaluating practices, trends, and case studies in those programs (download the white paper or watch the May 2022 webinar);

3. Learning more about potential e-bike buyers and how incentive programs could influence their decision-making.

Later this year, the team plans to publish the results of a national stated preference survey to learn the potential effects of different rebate methods, cash amounts, demographics, and other factors. This will yield even more insight into what affects people’s decision-making and which types of incentive programs may hit the sweet spot.