EDMONTON -- The City of Edmonton has introduced a rebate program to help residents buy a bicycle, as long as that bike has a battery.

As of Thursday, the rebate will cover 30 per cent of the purchase price of an eBike, up to $750.

Roy Gordon bought his eBike last fall.

“I will never go back to a regular bike ever; an eBike is just the way to go,”

The rebate is part of a larger program, which includes electric vehicle chargers.

The city believes it can fund 600 applications, and generate $1.2 million in local investments.

The program will cost taxpayers $600,000 over three years.

But one city councillor said with the city’s financial situation due to COVID-19, it’s not the time to subsidize bicycles.

“They’re nice to have, just not right now is part of what I’m saying. It sends everyone really the wrong message,” he said.

But the city said the eBikes will allow cyclists to have longer commutes, and lower reliance on other vehicles.

An entry level eBike will cost more than $1,000, and on an average model, people would easily use up a $750 limit.

“They can be pricey but then again, so were big screen TVs when those first came out,” said Gordon.

The city received more than 145 applications in the first 24 hours. Submissions are retroactive to April 4.

With files from CTV News Edmonton's Dan Grummett