top of page

About the Walk Bike Berkeley Ebike Project 

Walk Bike Berkeley (WBB) sees ebikes as an important part of the puzzle for solving many of our key transportation challenges. Ebikes help more people to get out of their cars and meet their transportation needs on two (or three) wheels with far less pollution, less climate chaos, more exercise, more safety on our streets, and more fun. 


We research ebikes impact, educate on how to buy and use ebikes, and advocate and support program planning to make ebikes more affordable and accessible for everyone. This website is a product of the all volunteer Walk Bike Berkeley Ebike Project.

WBBLogo.png

Research

E-bikes:  Key to Berkeley’s Climate & Public Safety Goals:  The EBike Project started in 2019 with an analysis of City of Berkeley California's Electric Mobility Roadmap. At the time, the roadmap focused exclusively on how to increase use of electric cars in Berkeley to meet our climate needs. Our report demonstrated that E-bikes are highly efficient and produce much less carbon than EVs, they are better for individual and community health, traffic congestion and infrastructure, can get more people on bikes, are cost effective and more equitable


Ebike Monitoring Project: This ongoing citizen science project that was the first (and to the best of our knowledge only) study to measure actual ebike energy usage under regular ebike use. We’ve monitored 29 bikes for over 3,000 miles and learned that ebikes get an astonishing 1000 to 4000 miles per gallon equivalent, cost less than half a penny per mile to charge and are 20 times more efficient than electric cars at fighting climate change.

We've done surveys of fire safety certifications, warranties, cargo bike pricing, and cargo bike & trailer dimensions, and studies on effectiveness of using ebikes for municipal building inspections.

We also track other studies from around the world about how people use ebikes and the efficacy of ebike policies.

Education

ClimateAction Center E-Bike Guide - This website provides information for: 

  • People who want to ride an ebike - including 

  • People who want to incorporate ebikes into their organization - both fleet operations and programs to help employees commute by bike

  • People who want to design or advocate for rebates and other programs to make ebikes more affordable and accessible to more people. 

Public Education - We have participated with the City of Berkeley and Ride & Drive Clean at a variety of “show and tell” public events to educate people about the fun (and practicality) of riding ebikes

Advocacy & Program Planning

We have had great success advocating for funding programs in the East Bay and California statewide to make ebikes more affordable, particularly to low income people. We have also provided pro bono support to help program administrators design many of these programs once funded.  

Our EBike Incentive Programs page provides more information and links to all of these programs, plus over one hundred others from around the globe.  

 

Successes

Some of the programs we have helped create include:

  • Bay Area Swap-a-clunker for E-bikes grant - Low income households can turn in an old car and get $7,500 toward multiple ebikes for your household and the accessories you need to replace a car. 

  • Berkeley E-Bike Access Project (BEEP) - 50 low income households are being given an ebike to use for a year with training and maintenance, plus youth are being trained in ebike assembly and repair. Demand for this program has been through the roof with over 600 people applying for the 50 slots.

  • California Air Resources Board (CARB) Electric Bicycle Incentives Program -  $1000 voucher for new ebike purchase for low income + $750 for cargo bikes & adaptive bikes + $250 for very low income or disadvantaged community residents. Expected rollout in late 2023.

  • Alameda Municipal Power Ebike Rebate - Alameda residents can get a 10-20% rebate for new or used ebike purchases up to $300 (20-40% up to $600 for low income with additional incentives for Alameda TMA (Transportation Management Association) members. 

 

Current advocacy 

We are currently working on getting these proposals passed:

  • Berkeley Unified School District transportation plan - BUSD has proposed to build a new parking deck in downtown Berkeley across from the high school and just a couple of blocks from the City's underutilized parking deck and a major BART and bus transit hub. We are advocating for BUSD to stop the parking deck project, assess its employees needs and options, provide support for them to use transit and active transportation including ebikes and negotiate for spaces in the City deck for whatever needs driving remain. Contact your BUSD board member  and City Councilperson to make your views known.

  • Federal Electric Bicycle Incentive Kickstart for the Environment (E-BIKE) Act This proposal in Congress would create a 30% federal income tax credit up to $1,500 for all households in the US making up to $150,000 (single) $225,000 (head of household), $300K (filing jointly).  Read more about this on our Ebike Incentives page then contact your congressperson to make your views known.

 

In the pipeline

We are monitoring, advocating for and/or providing planning support where we can for a number of other programs that are in development.

  • BART Berkeley-El Cerrito Corridor Access Plan - BART will be developing housing on several of its parking lots in this corridor, significantly reducing station parking. They are developing a range of proposals for supporting walking, biking and transit. This includes ebike lending libraries and expanded bike parking and charging facilities at several stations, likely starting with a pilot at the Downtown Berkeley BikeHub.

  • East Bay Community Energy (EBCE) Ride Electric Program - All Alameda County residents will be able to borrow an ebike to try out and get a subsidy to purchase an ebike. Rollout expected in late 2023.

  • UC Berkeley Ebike purchase discount - In the academic worker strike agreement in 2022, UC agreed to provide access to a UC-negotiated e-bike purchase discount program for academic student employees and graduate student researchers. Expected rollout by the end of 2023.

  • World Bank - World Bank transportation staff are working on proposals to incorporate support for active transportation in World Bank infrastructure projects, with an emphasis on ebikes.   

  • Berkeley Ebike purchase subsidy & secure street parking proposals -  We are working with several Berkeley city council members to develop proposals for a purchase subsidy to help Berkeley residents buy ebikes and a program to install secure parking cages on residential streets near apartments and other areas where people do not have good options for safely parking their bikes indoors. Our advocacy helped these get high marks in the Council prioritization process in April 2023. Read more about this on our Ebike Incentives page and contact us below if you would like to be informed when these come up for budgeting and your advocacy could help them be realized.

 

Our EBike Incentives page provides more information and links to all of these programs and proposals, plus over one hundred others from around the globe. 

bottom of page