Colorado Energy Office Announces Can Do Colorado Spring 2021 eBike Pilot Program Grant Awardees

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DENVER – Thurs., April 22, 2021 – The Colorado Energy Office (CEO) today announced nearly $700,000 in grant awards through its Can Do Colorado eBike Spring 2021 Pilot Program to help expand electric bike (eBike) access in communities across the state while maximizing air quality benefits. Grant awardees include 4CORE in Durango, the City of Fort Collins, Community Cycles in Boulder, Pueblo County and Smart Commute Metro-North. Denver’s Office of Climate Action, Sustainability and Resiliency made two additional awards to Northeast Transportation Connections and West Corridor TMA, both in Denver.

With support from the City and County of Denver’s Climate Protection Fund and the Regional Air Quality Council, CEO solicited proposals for projects to pilot a variety of eBike distribution models (including individual ownership and shared deployment) and lay a foundation for future program scalability and replicability.

"Interest in this program exceeded our expectations and reflects the enthusiasm across the state for eBikes as a transportation alternative. The funding from Denver's Climate Protection Fund allowed us to expand the grant offering to serve more people, which has been a tremendous benefit," said Christian Williss, Senior Director, Transportation Fuels and Technology at CEO.

Household motor vehicle trips are one of the biggest drivers of transportation emissions in the country. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, in 2017, nearly 60% of household motor vehicle trips were six miles or less, and 75% were 10 miles or less. Trips of these lengths are very doable by bike for many people, particularly if completed on an eBike. 

Compared to traditional bikes, eBikes allow people to:
                     - More easily bike greater distances and across harder terrain
                     - Commute with children, groceries and small packages
                     - Ride at an older age or with mobility issues
                     - Set aside worries about arriving sweaty at their destination
                     - Reduce their carbon footprint

In June 2020, the Polis administration launched the Can Do Colorado Community Challenge to provide resources to local communities and businesses to help safely reopen the economy after COVID-19 restrictions and work toward a healthier, more sustainable future. CEO partnered with Bicycle Colorado, Northeast Transportation Connections and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory on a Can Do Colorado eBike Pilot Program held last fall to demonstrate that eBikes are a safe, healthy and convenient way to travel around town. This mini-pilot was designed to deploy a small number of eBikes quickly and use lessons learned to create a more extensive Spring 2021 pilot. More information can be found in a final report about the mini-pilot.

“Electric bicycles are a powerful tool to allow many more people to get where they need to go with virtually no pollution, while also having fun and getting exercise. As we move towards a low carbon transportation future, eBikes are an important part of the solution,” said Will Toor, Executive Director at CEO.

Governor Polis is acting to address Colorado’s climate crisis through a bold vision to get to 100 percent renewable energy by 2040 and meet the science-based targets for reducing GHG pollution. Several state agencies including CEO are working together to deliver on the goals of this vision through the Colorado GHG Pollution Reduction Roadmap. The Colorado Electric Vehicle Plan 2020 includes near-term program and funding actions such as grants which promote the electrification of the transportation sector.