Tax Credit for Ebikes Proposed

Federal legislation has been introduced to offer buyers of new ebikes a tax credit of up to $1500. The bill, called the Electric Bicycle Incentive Kickstart for the Environment (E-BIKE) Act, is sponsored by Jimmy Panetta (D-CA) and Earl Blumenauer (D-OR).

The tax credit can be utilized once every three years per individual, which creates the opportunity for a couple or a family to buy them. And the three-year interval keeps people excited about bikes, and would see more people getting on them as owners sell theirs and upgrade to new models. Not a bad thing for the bike industry as a whole.

When I think of one change we could make to our society that would make life better for everyone, my best answer is putting more people on bikes.

My bias is impossible to hide, but humor me as I run through the factors most of you already know: Nothing tops the fun of a bike. We can talk about the health benefits like weight loss, lower blood pressure and more, but after a year locked down with a pandemic I don’t know a person who couldn’t benefit from a few more smiles. More people riding means fewer people driving and fewer cars means fewer riders being run over. There’s also the fact that people who ride bikes take note of cyclists as they drive, giving them more room as they pass. Again, fewer cyclists hit. Zero emissions and less wear-and-tear on roads ought to be reason enough, though, amiright?

Here’s the thing about ebikes that I like best: Whether you’ve been riding 15 hours per week and crushing friends coming out of every turn, or haven’t been on a bike since the Nixon administration, the dopamine-burning surprise of the zoom of an ebike is so good it sells itself. I defy anyone to go a block on one and not smile.

Do us all a favor and spread the word and add your voice to the effort by adding your name to this petition to your local representative that was put together by People for Bikes. Just click here.

Join the conversation
  1. khal spencer says

    I’m good with this as long as its not just one more toy in the garage alongside the Main Battle Tank, i.e., a Suburban, Explorer, 4Runner, or similar gas guzzler. To many Americans it won’t be so much a dedication to a better environment as much as another shiny object for their amusement.

    I drove, of course, over to the local Sprouts today as I was wearing dressy pants, taking a short break from work, and did not want to get pantlegs caught in the Long Haul Trucker’s drive train. Of course I could have just put on my velcro pant ties. Got there and ran into a lady who rode over on her e-bike. I asked her about the bike, which she said was made in the USA and she said it was “her car”. Now that is the right idea if I want to give someone a tax break. Folks like that put me to shame. I need to put the flat pedals back on the spare folding bike and use it.

  2. tommilani says

    Does the tax credit apply if you don’t itemize deductions? I couldn’t tell from the press release. If you take the standard deduction, and it doesn’t apply, that would seem to be a big deal. And I can’t help but wish the tax credit applied to all bikes, not just e-bikes, because plenty of people commute on non-motorized bikes, or at least they did, before COVID.
    Tom Milani

    1. khal spencer says

      My understanding is more people are bike commuting since Covid hit the fan. Mainly, because mass transit was seen as a potential superspreader.

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