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California governor signs e-bike vouchers bill into law

California Senate Bill 400 (SB 400), authored by Senator Thomas J. Umberg (D-Santa Ana) expanding the state’s incentives for turning in old, polluting cars to include vouchers for bikeshare and e-bikes, was signed into law by Governor Gavin Newsom.

SB 400 adds bikeshare and e-bikes as mobility options in the Clean Cars 4 All Program; proponents expect this will provide a strong incentive for Californians to switch from car to bike travel.

The state’s Clean Cars 4 All Program currently only provides support for buying electric, hybrid, and plug-in cars and mobility options such as car-sharing memberships and transit passes.

A study in Portland found that just a 15% increase in e-bike mode share results in an 11% decrease in CO2 emissions, even when using the dirtiest electricity generation profile in the USA. Another study found that as many as 50% of trips by electric bicycle would have been car trips if the rider had not had access to a pedal-assist bike.

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