VICTORIA -- The B.C. government is increasing rebates for electric-powered bicycles as Transportation Minister Claire Trevena says they're rising in popularity.

The province says people who scrap a vehicle may now access a rebate of $1,050 toward the purchase of a new e-bike – an increase of $200 from last year.

The province is also introducing a one-year pilot project offering a rebate of up to $1,700 for business owners toward the purchase of a cargo e-bike.

The province says businesses can purchase up to five cargo e-bikes through the new program.

"E-bikes are a much cheaper alternative to cars and are a safe way to travel," Trevena said in a statement Monday. "We look forward to seeing more people using e-bikes for getting around."

The transportation ministry says it will spend $750,000 on the rebate program over two years, while the energy ministry will contribute another $750,000 toward the scrap vehicle program.

"We are helping British Columbians to make the switch to cleaner transportation options," said Bruce Ralston, Minister of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources.

"With access to increased rebates, e-bikes are now more affordable than ever in B.C., which will reduce climate pollution and put us on the road to a clean energy future."

The rebates will be available through summer 2021.