The E-Bike program in Nelson, BC has become incredibly popular, resulting in efforts to expand the range of financial loan services offered by the city. To provide more loans to Nelson Hydro's city customers, the City's EcoSave Retrofits Program Bylaw is being revised. The total amount of loans offered will increase from $500,000 to $1 million once the first milestone is reached.

What is the Nelson, BC E-Bike Program?

The E-Bike Financing BC program offers low-interest financing to Nelson residents interested in purchasing a commuter bike, including electric bikes, DIY conversion kits, and commuting safety accessories (excluding clothing).
 
The maximum loan per household is $8,000, enabling the purchase of multiple bikes. Participants can choose between a two-year or five-year amortization period with a 3.5% interest rate (subject to annual revision).
 
The Electric Bike Loan Program is available to residents of the City of Nelson who both own and live in their own homes. To be eligible for an E-Bike or Energy Retrofit loan through your Nelson Hydro bill, the applicant must provide proof of property ownership and a positive credit history.

Additionally, the applicant must have their residential Nelson Hydropower bill enrolled in a pre-authorized direct withdrawal payment plan, and their Nelson Hydro, Property Tax, and Other Utility accounts must be open for at least two years. The loan must be approved by all individuals listed on the residential land title, and the account cannot be a business or property account.

Note: To enroll in a pre-authorized payment plan (direct withdrawal), please speak with a customer service representative in person at City Hall or send an email to hydroclerk@nelson.ca.

What is the Process for Accessing a Loan for the E-Bike Program?

To access a loan for the E-Bike Program, applicants must apply online. Nelson Hydro will then review the loan application and provide pre-approval or denial via email. If approved, applicants can purchase the e-bike and any necessary extras and then submit digital copies of the invoices and the online reimbursement form. Final approval will be confirmed via email, and then the reimbursement will be issued. Loan repayments will commence after the issuance of the rebate.

Can I Use the Loan Program to Purchase E-bike Conversion Kits?

The program offers low-interest financing for Nelson homeowners who want to buy a commuter bike, including electric bikes, do-it-yourself ebike conversion kits, and non-electric bikes.

What Kind of Electric Bikes Can I Finance?

Bikes for commuting include electric bikes, non-electric bikes, used bikes, and DIY conversion kits. As long as you understand that the goal is to encourage active mobility, it does not have to be a 'commuter' style of bike.

What Other Rebates are There for Buying Bikes?

The following rebate programs are now available in Canada for e-bike purchases:

PST Exemption

Many e-bike purchases will no longer be subject to the provincial sales tax as of April 21, 2021. 

Electrify Nova Scotia

For the purchase of a brand-new e-bike from a retailer with a physical presence in Nova Scotia, Electrify Nova Scotia is offering a $500 discount.

Prince Edward Island E-bike Incentive

$500 off the cost of a brand-new e-bike that costs less than $1,200 and travels no faster than 32 kph.

Yukon Clean Energy Rebate

25% off the price of a new electric bicycle, up to a maximum discount of $750 off the purchase of a new e-bike or up to $1,500 on a new electric cargo bicycle, is available through the Yukon Clean Energy Rebate.

Scrap-It Program 

All residents of British Columbia are eligible for a $750 return through the Scrap-It program when they buy an electric bike from a participating electric bicycle retailer and scrap a qualified vehicle. The program is also available in Alberta, where people can receive a $500 rebate for an e-bike. The BC SCRAP-IT Programme Society, an independent not-for-profit organization, runs the Scrap-it program.

Bnaff Residential E-Bike Rebate

$750 to $1,000 off the cost of a brand-new e-bike is available through Bnaff Residential E-Bike Rebate.

Clean BC 

Through the Electric Specialty Use Vehicle Incentive (SUVI) program, Clean BC is offering businesses and organizations in British Columbia a $1,700 discount on the cost of a freight electric bicycle.

North Vancouver E-Bike Program

On certified e-bikes, reimbursements are available based on an individual's salary, with rebates ranging from $350 to a maximum of $1,400. Contrary to earlier programs, getting the rebate does not require scrapping a car.

Summing

As interest in e-bikes grows in Canada, more and more businesses are attracted to design, produce, and market them. Unfortunately, the federal government does not provide any incentives for purchasing a new e-bike, like new passenger EVs, trucks, and medium- and heavy-duty vehicles. However, there are some rebate programs available at the provincial or municipal level to assist individuals in purchasing an e-bike.

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