E-bike rebate redo: Minnesota opens applications again on July 2

After the first round of electric bike rebate applications crashed its system, Minnesota will again try to offer cyclists a kickback for a new purchase.

Applications for the 2024 program were initially set to open on June 5, but shortly after the 11 a.m. opening, the Minnesota Department of Revenue’s website crashed due to overwhelming demand.

At the time, the department said it would work to identify anyone who successfully submitted an application and let them know their application was received. However, officials have since said that less than 80 applications were successfully submitted in the hours before the site shut down.

A new round of applications will open at 11 a.m. on July 2. Applicants will take turns through a virtual waiting room before accessing an application.

The department says that the new system aims to control the surge of users, similar to what major sports teams or concerts use when selling a limited number of tickets.

Potential applicants will gain access to the rebate application in the order they enter the waiting room. Once an application becomes available, they will have 15 minutes to complete and submit it, the department says. 

Only around 10,000 submissions will be accepted, and once the limit is reached, the waiting room will be closed to users. People applying will need to have their contact info, SSN, and tax filing status info ready.

If approved, a rebate certificate will be sent to the email address used on the application by July 10. The certificate can then be used to buy an e-bike from an approved retailer. Rebates expire two months after being issued.

Rebates will cover 50 to 75 percent of a qualifying $1,500 purchase, depending on your income.

The number of rebate certificates issued each year is limited by funds available in the program. State law allocates $2 million each year in 2024 and 2025 for rebates. The department estimates awarding around 1,300 rebate certificates.