Fresno CA will wait longer for e-bike purchase assistance

The state’s e-bike program, which will help low-income Fresnans obtain a voucher for the purchase of an electric two-wheeler, won’t go into effect in July as originally planned.

Expect a rollout later this year.

That’s bad news for those counting on an alternative to the use of their cars as gas prices continue to spike past $6.

But it could have been worse.

Officials at the California Air Resources Board, which administers the electric bicycle voucher program, told The Fresno Bee on Wednesday that the program wouldn’t be ready until the first part of 2023.

Dave Clegem, public information officer for the board, said the delay was due to the search for a program administrator.

However, The Bee on Thursday reached out to the office of state Assemblymember Tasha Boerner Hovath of San Diego County, an author of AB117, which authorized the e-bikes voucher legislation. Her communications director, Connor Malone, said that his office spoke with CARB officials, and believes the process will be faster.

“It will take a couple months to have the grant agreement signed, but incentives can roll out following that – so we should see incentive distribution begin late this year,” said Malone.

Stay tuned.

Buying an electric bike, which provides a pedal assist to riders so they can go farther and faster, can be an expensive undertaking, generally costing several thousand dollars. Vouchers, which would be based on income, are funded by a $10 million allocation for 2022 .

Electric bike riders who pedal at a moderate level while assisted by a lithium battery can expect to travel between 22 to 50 miles on a single charge. The battery can generally be recharged in 3 to 5 hours. The cost of the charge is estimated to be about a dime. The speed of some e-bikes approaches 30 mph.

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A native of Colorado, Jim Guy studied political science, Latin American politics and Spanish literature at Fresno State University, and advanced Spanish grammar in Cuernavaca, Mexico.

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