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Minnesota e-bike rebate applications close 20 minutes after relaunch

Minnesotans get second chance at e-bike rebate
Minnesotans get second chance at e-bike rebate 02:06

ST. PAUL, Minn. — Applications for Minnesota's relaunched e-bike rebate closed after less than 20 minutes on Tuesday due to a surfeit of submissions.

The application portal opened at 11 a.m., and at 11:19 a.m., the Minnesota Department of Revenue announced it had "received enough submissions to fill the applicant pool."

When the application period initially launched in early June, technical glitches forced officials to bring the entire system offline. Officials said that despite the expected demand, the state's external vendors could not support the surge in users looking to apply for the rebate. 

Less than 80 applications went through successfully the first time around. Those applications will be honored. 

At 11:10 a.m., the department said more than 3,000 applications had been successfully submitted. In all, 14,000 people successfully applied for the rebate program on the second round on Tuesday.

Travis Norvell was one of more than 61,000 people who attempted to apply for the state program. 

"I was on at 10:58. We were ready! Just kept hitting refresh and I got an estimated wait time of an hour," he said. 

Norvell has always loved cycling — there's a reason they call him the peddling pastor — but he fell in love with e-bikes after his wife got one last year. 

"For me, it's another car. We only have one car. So, with the e-bike, we can get around and do the things we need to do."

It's a trend Perennial Bikes shop owned Luke Breen has noticed too. 

"The idea of being able to get $1,500 rebate on a bike that maybe will cost you 2 to $4,000, that's going to help a lot," Breen said. "And make it more accessible for a lot of people." 

Despite his positive patience, Norvell isn't guaranteed a check. According to the state, about 1,300 people will make the cut. Those approved for the e-bike rebate will receive the rebate certificate by July 10. Rebates expire two months after it's issued. 

Those who did not successfully submit an application will get another chance next year.

What was different about the reopened application process? 

According to officials, the reopened application process featured a virtual waiting room to control the surge of users. 

"This is a similar process to what major sports teams use when selling a limited number of tickets for their playoff games," the revenue department said in a news release. 

The rebate applications were to be granted by order of when users entered the waiting room. Once granted, the user was to have 15 minutes to complete and submit the application. 

Anyone in the waiting room after the limit was reached should have received a notification that they cannot apply this year.

How much is the e-bike rebate worth?

The rebate is worth 50-75% of the cost of an e-bike and qualifying accessories, up to a maximum of $1,500. Rebates will be issued on a first-come, first-served basis. The state says that total rebates are limited to $2 million a year in 2024 and 2025. 

The rebate is determined by an applicant's 2023 income.

To estimate your rebate based on your income, click here.

Who is eligible for the e-bike rebate?

In order to be eligible for the rebate, a person must be at least 15 years old. They have to have lived in Minnesota for the current year and the previous year and must not have been claimed as a dependent in 2023.

For more information, including a list of approved retailers, click here.

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