Air assistance

Fresno CA will wait longer for e-bike purchase assistance

The state’s e-bike program, which will help low-income Fresnans get a voucher to purchase an electric two-wheeler, will not go into effect in July as originally planned.

Expect a rollout later this year.

That’s bad news for those relying on an alternative to using their car as gas prices continue to climb past $6.

But it could have been worse.

Officials from the California Air Resources Board, which administers the e-bike voucher program, told The Fresno Bee on Wednesday that the program would not be ready until the first part of 2023.

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

However, The Bee contacted the office of San Diego County State Assemblywoman Tasha Boerner Hovath on Thursday, author of AB117, who authorized the e-bike voucher legislation. His director of communications, Connor Malone, said his office had spoken to CARB officials and believed the process would be quicker.

“It will take a few months for the grant agreement to be signed, but the incentives can be rolled out after that – so we should see the distribution of the incentives starting later this year,” Malone said.

Stay tuned.

Buying an e-bike, which provides pedaling assistance to riders so they can go further and faster, can be an expensive undertaking, typically costing several thousand dollars. The vouchers, which would be income-based, are funded by a $10 million allocation for 2022.

E-bikers who pedal at a moderate level while assisted by a lithium battery can expect to ride between 22 and 50 miles on a single charge. The battery can usually be recharged in 3-5 hours. The cost of charging is estimated at around one cent. The speed of some e-bikes approaches 30 mph.

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