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Denver's e-bike rebate system gets overwhelmed by high demand

The city will honor the applications of users who got stuck in the email verification process for e-bike rebates on Monday morning.

DENVER — Strong interest in Denver's e-bike rebate program overwhelmed the system Monday morning, but the city said it will honor the applications of users who got stuck in the verification process.

The City of Denver opened applications at 8 a.m. for 2,000 new e-bike rebates, with half of them going to income-qualified residents. The city plans to release additional rebates every month through the end of the year.

The city said its system is limited in the number of email verifications that can be sent every 30 minutes and that many users were left waiting up to two hours for an email verification code. Some users requested a new code that invalidated the first one and increased their wait time.

"We apologize for this frustration, and we will honor the application of any user who attempted to verify their email but were unable to do so," the city says in a news release. "No action is needed from any user who attempted to verify their email this morning. Our rebate administrator will be reaching out to those users to complete the application process."

There are more and more electric bikes on the streets of Denver as the city works to make it cheaper for people to ride around on two wheels.

"We’ve probably sold over 100 bikes since the inception of this program, from the program alone," said Kenny Fischer with FattE-Bikes in Denver. "Ours are designed to be commuter vehicles. Everything from headlights, taillights, brake lights, anti-theft devices."

Fischer is seeing more people coming into his shop with the intention of replacing their cars with an e-bike. The rebate program is helping.

"It’s pretty much a minimum of $400 off of one of our e-bikes. If you get a cargo bike, it’s a minimum of $900 off. Some people are saving upwards of $1,700, which is amazing," Fischer said.

FattE-Bikes can go more than 25 miles per hour without the rider even breaking a sweat. They build the bikes in Denver. 

While the rebates won't cover the full cost of the bikes, they do make them significantly cheaper.

"It’s making the bikes more accessible for people," Fischer said. "Folks who’ve heard about them, are interested in them, but never thought they were within budget. Now it’s essentially bringing it right to their doorstep. The city is giving away free money."

Future release dates for e-bike rebate applications will be:

  • Monday, Aug. 1
  • Tuesday, Sept. 6
  • Monday, Oct. 3
  • Monday, Nov. 7
  • Monday, Dec. 5

Denver saw more than 3,000 people apply for the first round of e-bike rebates released in April. Of those, only 848 have been redeemed. The rebates must be redeemed within 60 days of approval.

The city is hoping that more people who apply for the rebates this time around actually use them. They're asking people to pick out what bike they’re interested in ahead of time.

> Learn more about the application process.


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