Minnesota e-bike rebate program fills up in minutes

Last month, when the Minnesota Department of Revenue launched its e-bike rebate program, the state’s website crashed almost as soon as it opened, because of overwhelming demand.

On Tuesday, the state tried things out again. But unfortunately, things didn’t end any better for Mary Mokrzycki.

"It bumped me out of the system and sent me a message: all of the applications are filled," Mokrzycki explained. "You have to try again next year."

The rebates are offered on a first come, first serve basis, and more than 14,000 people submitted an application on Tuesday at 11 a.m. 

At one point, administrators say about 61,000 people were trying to get through.

"It’s just frustrating," Mokrzycki continued. "I’m just disappointed, and I don’t understand how that can happen. I’m not an IT expert, but really it’s very disappointing."

Depending on a person’s income, rebates could cover up to three quarters of a $1,500 e-bike purchase. But with a total of $2 million to send out in 2024, only about 1,300 people are likely to get a piece of the pie.

"There’s a lot of buzz created by free money," Tangletown Bike Shop General Manager Nick Milton told FOX 9. "[I’ve] already heard from a few customers that were successful getting in."

Minnesotans who got through this year can expect a rebate within 10 days. Meanwhile, anyone who wasn’t as lucky is encouraged to try again in 2025, when the program will have another $2 million to distribute.