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Nelson plans e-bike expo

The City of Nelson is planning an e-bike expo aimed at increasing active transportation.

The free event will be Friday, June 24 from 3 to 7 p.m. at the Nelson Innovation Center, located in Railtown, next to the visitors centre.

The city says the event will be an opportunity to have face-to-face conversations with residents who own and operate e-bikes. A variety of different bikes will be on display.

“We’ve heard many residents say they want to purchase an e-bike but aren’t sure where to start,” climate and energy advisor Cecilia Jaques said in a news release.

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“Our goal is to bring people together to learn from each other and make it easier for people to start cycling. The idea for the event is to provide a space where residents can drop in and have an informal conversation with their neighbours about choosing an e-bike.”

The City of Nelson launched an e-bike financing program in 2020, the first BC municipality to do so, and has since distributed over 120 loans to Nelson homeowners. Since then, similar programs have been launched elsewhere in the province.

If you love your e-bike and want to share your experience at the expo, contact Jaques at at [email protected].

To better understand the impact of the e-bike financing program on travel behaviour and greenhouse gas emissions, the city has also partnered with UBC’s REACT (Research on Active Transportation) Lab.

Over the next year, new participants in the e-bike Financing program will have the opportunity to participate in an independent study that will measure the long-term impact of purchasing an e-bike. Participation in the study is optional and will not affect whether residents receive a loan. Survey data will be collected in three phases, and participants will be entered into prize draws for gift cards of up to $50.

“We are thrilled to partner with Nelson to study the impacts of e-bike adoption and promotion,” says Dr. Alex Bigazzi, who will lead the study. “E-bikes present a great opportunity for climate mitigation with many co-benefits including decreased pollution and healthier lifestyles, but we currently have very little real-world data on e-bike usage in Canada.”

Under the e-bike financing program, homeowners who would like to purchase a commuter bike, including electric, non-electric bikes, and accessories can apply for a loan, which is applied monthly to their Nelson Hydro bill. The maximum amount is $8,000 per household, which can support the purchase of more than one bike. Participants can choose an amortization period of two or five years, with an interest rate of 3.5 per cent.

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