e-bikes catching on in PEI thanks to participating retailers, provincial rebate

There are two groups of people who buy e-bikes. 

“Those who are regular cyclists and just want a little boost to go further and be out longer and those who are looking for an alternate transportation method,” said Frank MacEachern.

And he would know. 

Frank is the owner and operator of Rising Tides Electric Bicycles. Rising Tides is one of seven Island retailers participating in the point-of-sale e-bike rebate.

Speaking from his shop at 125 Queen Street in Charlottetown, Frank has been around bikes most of his life but the e-bike business is new.

“We opened here about 14 months ago,” he says, using his arms to show the large array of electric bikes on display. 

 E-bike sales have been good. 

“It’s been a challenge,” Frank said. “The weather has been a bit of an issue. July was so hot and August has been very wet and cool.”

But the idea of the e-bike is catching on. 

“What we really need is more awareness on how the e-bike can make a difference in a person’s life.”

For example, Frank says he had a client who bought his first e-bike in October of last year. 

He wanted to sell one of his cars and use the e-bike to go back and forth to work. 

“He told me that from October 31 to January 31, there had only been three days he couldn’t drive his bike to work. And that’s not bad considering the time of year.”

Frank said his client also told him that the amount of money he saved on car insurance, gas and maintenance has already paid for his e-bike. 

Of course, the $500 rebate helps too. 

The Government of Prince Edward Island offers eligible Islanders and organizations a $500 rebate for those who purchase an e-Bike (Power Assisted Bicycle).

Along with Rising Tide, the rebate is available directly through other participating PEI retailers:

The purpose of the program is to encourage greater adoption of active transportation options among Islanders. E-Bikes are a cleaner and more efficient mode of transportation when compared to single passenger vehicles.

Since the program began in June of 2020 there have been 1,022 rebates for e-bikes issued. 

“Most people know about the rebate when they come to purchase their e-bike and those who don’t know are very pleasantly surprised,” Frank added.

Charging the e-bike is easy too. 

All of Frank’s e-bikes have a lithium ion battery.

“Some bikers just take the charger with them. Say they want to drive to St. Peter’s Bay; they take their charger, plug in at a restaurant or campsite and charge up for the ride back home.”. 

Cyclists who want to continue to cycle as part of a group but might have trouble keeping up the pace find the e-bike just perfect. 

The pedal-assist makes a big difference, Frank said.

He said one of his clients, who loved to bike but was finding it more difficult going up hills, said the pedal assist, “made it feel like I was biking downhill all day!”

“And that is the best description of the e-bike I have ever heard.” 

For more information on e-bikes and other Net Zero rebates, visit: Net ZERO.

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