Jamis Hudson E2 electric bike. 250 watt motor, 300 watt/hour battery, $1700.

The following information represents the latest understand of how the e-bike voucher program.

Today the MN Department of Revenue revealed for bike retailers how the eagerly expected e-bike voucher will work. This program has been a long time coming, so let’s get right to it: 

  • May 1, 2024, 8 am – Minnesota and border state retailers may apply to become eligible recipients of the e-bike vouchers.
  • June 5, 2024, 11 am – Minnesota residents can log into the E-Bike portal, submit their personal information, and wait for an approval email.
  • July 1, 2024 – E-bike vouchers will be emailed to eligible recipients, who may use them the same as cash at an eligible retailer.
  • September 1, 2024 – The unspent vouchers will be reassigned to the next persons in line.
  • 2025 – We do it again for the second year of the pilot project.


What does this look like for retailers?

Bike shops go to, use the search term ‘e-bike’ and click the appropriate search result. (The portal is sandboxed so there’s no point giving out a URL now.) On said page the user can click the tile for ‘Retailer’ and fill out the short application. Among key questions asked is whether the shop has been selling e-bikes for at least 6 months prior. (We have!) A prompt answer is promised so you should know quickly what shops will be accepting vouchers. (This is your hint to window shop ahead of time to ensure the shop has what you want.) You will receive three emails upon applying: confirmation that you applied; status of application; and (if selected) your login credentials.

New Class 1,2,3 e-bikes are eligible with two caveats: 1) the assist system is 750 watts or less; and 2) the assist system has been certified by an independent laboratory. Accessories may also be rolled into the purchase.

Once we get to July 1, the consumer picks out a bike, and presents you with an email that contains a First and Last name, a 12 digit code, and an approved voucher amount. YOU MUST CHECK THEIR ID. And to avoid the problem of rubber vouchers it is suggested that you do real time verification and registration of their voucher. If this does not happen, then that voucher may show up in another shop later that day. No bueno.

At point of sale you are: checking ID, verifying the chosen bike’s eligibility, and entering the Department of Revenue’s Retailer portal to check the voucher status, enter the bike price, enter the bike + accessories price, and determine the amount owed. The Portal will calculate these numbers for you. The customer will be responsible for sales tax on the full amount (undiscounted).

Whenever it is convenient for you, there are a few more steps to complete before reimbursement by the State. Again using the portal, find the tile for submitting for voucher reimbursement, and provide the requested information. One request per bike and the PAPER check will include a reference to the transaction in question. Expect a check in 30 days if not sooner.

There are procedures for returns but I’m not going into those. The important thing to know is this: swaps of equal value are ok, but refunds–while honored–will tag the customer with the scarlet letter and never again will they be voucher eligible.

Then we do it again next year whenever 1300 vouchers have been gobbled up and spent.


What does this look like for consumers?

On June 5, 11 am, you can go to, use the search term ‘e-bike’ and click the appropriate search result. Look for something with wording like ‘Apply for e-bike voucher.’ Provide the requested information and if you are one of the first 10 thousand who does this, you will receive an email shortly thereafter notifying you if you have been selected for a voucher. (We were told the answer wouldn’t take long.) And on July 1, 2024, a lucky 1300 or so Minnesota residents over the age of 15 will receive their rebate email. Bring that email with you to a participating bike retailer. No need to print out the email, but a government ID will be necessary.

The rebate has 60 days before expiration. Should the shop not have the model and color you are looking for, then place an order and work out the question of when payment is remitted. The Department of Revenue didn’t get into details on whether the voucher can be used as a deposit. I don’t think they care, so the answer comes down to your comfort with the shop. But once logged, that voucher can’t be refunded and reused. If cancelled it goes to the next person in line.

Pick out any accessories (lock, helmet, lights, etc.) if you want to use all of what you were awarded. Then the transaction is simple: ID check, the shop does some computer work, and pretty soon you will know the discounted amount. Sales tax on the FULL amount is due. All forms of payment that a shop accepts can be used.

Ride off and enjoy! Tell your state legislators you used the program and urge its expansion.


How to Choose an E-Bike

Ride it first. Take a good test ride. You might be surprised by the zippiness of lower-powered bikes, and their ease of handling for transporting them to trails or vacation destinations. More range, power, and features often comes with the trade offs of greater weight, higher price, firmer ride, and longer charging times. Consult your shop about whether the bike you’ve chosen can be carried on a conventional bike rack. The reason I suggest a long test ride is the same reason the Cane Creek Thudbuster is now one of the most popular e-bike add-ons: the ride can be, um, firm. You might end up with a 75 mile battery but 10 miles into the ride your body may be saying ‘turn around!’



The program, and the legislation upon which is based, is not perfect. It is a 2 year, $4 million pilot program. It is meant to accomplish two goals: 1) get more Minnesotans on e-bikes; and 2) work out any bugs to make a program more widely available. E-bikes are amazing tools for equalizing the user rights disparity with motorists. Bicycles are vehicles that are entitled to the full use of a traffic lane unless otherwise prohibited or when there is an adjacent bike facility that can be used. We have the rights and responsibilities of drivers. That means we must stop, signal, yield, and be visible and predictable in our movements. No one’s bad behavior excuses your own. Yes, there are people who don’t want us out there. But there are likely more people who are either indifferent or accepting and they just don’t know how to share the road. The massive speed differential is one of the key reasons for tense relations – drivers are impatient and they go too fast. Closing that speed difference between bikes and motor vehicles will help as will normalizing cycling by putting more people out there on bicycles.

There were 80 retailers on today’s call and I wager that most of them spent most of the time thinking about how the voucher system will be abused. The system we were shown isn’t watertight, but it is pretty good. Flipping bikes and straw buyers will be the most prevalent kind of fraud. But again, the numbers here are pretty small, and most bikes will go to a good home.

A small number of vouchers will inevitably land amongst people working in the biking industry. On the one hand: it’s not like we are overpaid, so this program may help some people afford the bikes they work on. On the other hand: the better paying industry jobs already offer steep discounts to employees, so I can’t think of a less worthy recipient than a 30 something dude-bro who can afford nice bike vacations and has an enviable IG persona. Is this an edge case? We’ll see. To use the program, one must know about it and have the tech savvy and thirst to take part.

What effect will the program have on new ebike prices? They won’t go up $1,500 on July 1, because the industry still has an inventory problem. More likely, prices may slightly depreciate and the used market might pick up at new e-bikes displace well-used e-bikes. That’s positive! The effect on realtor’s will be more difficult to measure. A few extra e-bike sales at our shop is critical; The Bike Man, between his 30 locations already sells more than that in a weekend. He doesn’t need your money, but plenty of other shops do. Why? Rumors of the voucher have done nothing to move e-bikes over the past 12 months.

So here’s to your local independent bike shop–the salty bunch that we are. Happy clicking and go ahead and share without attribution.