Can Do Colorado eBike Pilot Program

Why eBikes?
eBike program partcipant posting with her new eBike in front of a bike shop

Household motor vehicle trips are one of the biggest drivers of transportation emissions in the country. According to the US Department of Energy, in 2017 nearly 60% of household motor vehicle trips were 6 miles or less and 75% were 10 miles or less. Trips of these lengths are very doable by bike for most Americans, particularly if completed on an electric bike (eBike). Compared to traditional bikes, eBikes allow people to:

  • More easily bike greater distances and across harder terrain
  • Commute with groceries, small deliveries and children 
  • Ride at an older age or with mobility issues
  • Set aside worries about arriving sweaty at their destination
  • Reduce their carbon footprint
Can Do Colorado eBike Fall 2020 Mini-Pilot Program

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. As part of this initiative, the Colorado Energy Office (CEO) committed $500,000 toward an eBike pilot that increases access to eBikes for low-income essential workers.

In support of this pilot, CEO partnered with Bicycle Colorado, Northeast Transportation Connections, and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory on a mini-pilot held in the fall of 2020 to demonstrate that eBikes are a safe, healthy and convenient way to travel around town. Through the mini-pilot, 13 low-income essential workers in the greater Denver area received a Momentum LaFree E+ eBike (Class 1) and equipment including a helmet, pump, lock, lights and more at no cost. This pilot was designed to deploy a small number of eBikes quickly and use lessons learned to create a larger pilot planned for spring 2021. More information can be found in the final report.

Can Do Colorado eBike Spring 2021 Pilot Program
eBike program participant in front of her bike by urban bike shop mural

Through a Request for Applications (RFA), CEO solicited proposals for its Can Do Colorado eBike Spring 2021 Pilot. As part of the Can Do Colorado Community Challenge, this program seeks to increase access to eBikes for low-income essential workers while maximizing air quality benefits. Additional program objectives include piloting a variety of eBike distribution models including individual ownership and shared deployment, expanding eBike access in communities across the state, and laying a foundation for future scalability and replicability.

The Can Do Colorado eBike Spring 2021 Pilot is funded in a partnership between CEO, City and County of Denver and the Regional Air Quality Council. CEO anticipates making four to six awards between $75,000 to $150,000 each. No match is required, however, applicants are encouraged to identify other sources of funding that help to increase the scale of the initial deployment and ensure ongoing sustainability of the proposed projects. Awarded funding may be combined with any existing or new funding source and may be used for eBikes, related equipment and administrative costs directly related to program development and administration.

CEO administered this RFA in two phases. In phase one, applicants were required to submit a concept paper that provides a high-level summary of the proposed project. Applicants whose concept papers demonstrated a thorough understanding of the program’s objectives and a well-designed deployment model that increases access to eBikes for low-income essential workers were invited to submit a full project proposal. This solicitation was open to all public, private and nonprofit entities.

The Can Do Colorado eBike Spring 2021 Pilot RFA schedule is noted below. All program information, including RFA documents and program updates, will be posted on this webpage.

Can Do Colorado eBike Spring 2021 Pilot Program - RFA Timeline

Activity

Action Date

RFA Release

1/12/2021

RFA Applicant Questions Due

1/19/2021 at 11:59 PM

RFA Answers Posted on CEO's Website

1/21/2021

Concept Papers Due

1/29/2021 at 11:59 PM

Notifications to Submit a Full Proposal

2/8/2021

RFA Proposals Due

2/25/2021 at 11:59 PM

Can Do Colorado eBike Pilot Program Request for Applications - Documents

Can Do Colorado eBike Pilot Program Request for Applications ***Note: RFA was revised 1/21/21***

Can Do Colorado eBike Pilot Program RFA - Questions & Answers

Attachment 1 - Application Summary Sheet 
Attachment 2 - Grant Program Concept Paper Form
Attachment 3 - Grant Program Proposal Form
Attachment 4 - State of Colorado Small Dollar Grant Award Terms and Conditions
Attachment 5 - City and County of Denver Personal Services Agreement Terms and Conditions
Attachment 6 - Request for Taxpayer Identification Number and Certification

In November 2020, CEO and Bicycle Colorado held a stakeholder meeting to discuss the Spring 2021 Pilot Program. The Zoom recording can be viewed here.