Benton County’s E-Bike Program off to Promising Start

Corvallis Electric Bicycles shop owner Jeff Hallman has not owned a car in years. Instead, he relies on his electric bicycle to get around town.   

Hallman’s shop is one of the four bike shops participating in Empower Benton County’s E-bike Rebate program, which gives selected applicants a rebate of up to $1,200 to purchase an e-bike from a local business. Other participating businesses include Bike N Hike, Corvallis Cyclery, and Peak Sports Bike Shop.  

Hallman discussed how the program has helped his own business, “We’re the only shop in town that has bikes under the $2,000 price point, he said. Not many shops are doing e-bikes.”   

As the only shop in Benton County dedicated to selling e-bikes only, Corvallis Electric Bicycles has already sold bikes to about half of the 20 e-bike rebate recipients.   

On the state of the e-bike industry, Hallman said, “I expected it to be growing every year, but COVID certainly has made it into a real big boom of people looking for bikes.”   

At one point last year, demand was so high that most bike shops in Corvallis were nearly sold out. The Benton County Economic Development Office reached out to all e-bike shops in the county before initiating the program to make sure it would be manageable. With limitations on the supply chain due to the pandemic, there was concern to not flood bike shops with too many eager e-bikers at once.   

To help with this, Empower Benton County’s Rebate Program is releasing awards in rounds. For those who are just learning about the program, this means there is still a chance to apply. Email to be notified of the application windows for future rounds.  

According to Hallman, commuting by bike is ideal for a town with the size and layout of Corvallis. He says, “Corvallis is a dream to ride through,” and having an e-bike makes the ride even easier.   

By Olivia Goodfriend 

Do you have a story for The Advocate? Email