State postpones launch of e-bike rebate applications after website crashes

Minnesota’s launch of the electric-assisted bike rebate application period didn’t go as planned and is now being pushed to another date.

Set up on a first-come, first-served basis with a cap of 10,000 applications, the state’s online application website crashed within minutes of its launch at 11 a.m. Wednesday.

At around 1:30 p.m., the Minnesota Department of Revenue said it won’t have the issues resolved by the end of the day and will push the launch to another date.

“We are working with our external technology vendors engaged for this program to understand and fix the technical issues on the site,” a statement from the department said.

Officials added that more information will be released at a later time so that applicants can plan ahead. Those interested can also sign up to receive those updates directly.

RELATED: New state rebate program to significantly cut cost of buying e-bikes

The e-Bike Rebate program aims to promote more environmentally friendly travel by reducing the cost of an e-bike for Minnesotans.

The state has earmarked $2 million for rebates this year and next year, offering residents a discount of up to $1,500 on qualifying e-bike purchases. That apparently created higher-than-anticipated demand.

“The e-Bike Rebate Application is experiencing technical issues,” a banner on the Department of Revenue website said shortly after the site crashed. “We are working on a fix and will update when the issues have been corrected. We apologize for any inconvenience.”

The department said it planned to distribute the first round of e-bike rebate certificates on July 1, with a possible second round going out in October. However, it’s unclear if Wednesday’s crash will affect that timeline.

“We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused potential applicants,” said a department spokesperson.