Would you like to see electric bikes made more affordable in the same way we have made electric cars and trucks? Support the reintroduced E-BIKE Act!
Here are 5 main things to know about the reintroduced E-BIKE Act:
- Would create a tax rebate for buying electric bikes, similar to the one available when buying an electric car
- Provides a rebate for 30% of the cost of a new electric bicycle, up to a $1,500 credit on e-bikes less than $8,000
- The credit would be allowed once per individual every three years, or twice for a joint-return couple buying two electric bicycles
- Income caps that parallel the electric vehicle tax credit caps: an annual salary of $150K for single filers, $225K for heads of households, and $300K for those filing jointly
- There is some language that limits eligible e-bikes to ones with tested battery systems and which meet one of the Three Class Definitions for e-bikes used by most states
Key Reasons to Support This Program
As a daily cyclist, I obviously want to help get more people on bikes to replace car trips with bike trips, but that’s not always the best sell. Here are some of my initial thoughts on why this rebate makes sense.
- Focus on family time, outdoor time in nature, the emotional part, and then the financial
- E-bikes remove barriers and help people get back into biking. Biking with your partner or friends can be made easier, and more enjoyable. Find that freedom of biking again!
- Healthier communities because America is not one of the healthiest countries
- Equitable transportation options for 5 miles or less
- $10,728 is the cost of car ownership ANNUALLY as of 2022 (source: AAA) – by not having sustainable and affordable alternatives we are putting a financial burden of over $10k on people
Safer Bikes to More People
We have seen how wildly successful the Denver e-bike voucher program is, which is a voucher-based program and not a tax rebate. In summary, people apply for one of the limited numbers of vouchers from the city and if they receive it they can redeem the voucher at one of the participating bike shops. I personally know many people who bought e-bikes through this program or upgraded from more affordable ones to safer options because of the financial help. The last item on the list above is what interests me the most, as the CPSC and NYC come down on dangerous, untested, batteries and e-bike systems this could be the incentive to help lower the financial barrier of affording something longer lasting, and safer.
First Comes the E-Bikes and then Comes the Infrastructure?!
This is the true chicken and egg question when it comes to converting daily drivers to replace car trips with bike trips – will an e-bike fix all their problems or is the bike infrastructure where they live not safe enough for them to try? With enough interest in cities and towns in this program, will we see funding become available for safer multiuse paths and protected bike lanes?
I absolutely agree with David Zipper, these e-bike vouchers or credits are creating e-bike advocates that are faced firsthand with the good and bad, but is it enough? Not everyone will become an advocate if the riding isn’t perfect, they may just park their bike or get rid of it. Hopefully, enough of the 5,000+ e-bikes purchased in Denver so far are pushing the tide and the Department of Transportation is listening.
Voice Your Support Now
The very best thing you can do is flood your elected federal elected officials’ inboxes. People for Bikes has a handy form for that. You also need to engage your community to help. Your local bike shop should be notifying their customers, and your local bike club – even if it is for road riders in spandex, should be writing. Finally, you should also talk about it with state and local officials. The more awareness we have on why this could be a game changer, the better chance we have of making it happen piece by piece!