Biden’s Buildback Better Bill May Offer Up to $ 900 Electric Bike Tax Credit


A man riding an electric bike near a pier in Huntington Beach, California, on Tuesday, April 6, 2021.

Paul Bersebach | Getty Images

Electric bicycle Soaring popularity In recent years, and the Democratic Party’s $ 1.75 trillion tax credit Create a better invoice It may further accelerate their rise.

A version of the Social Safety Net and Climate Bill passed by the House of Representatives provides some Americans with a fully refundable 30% tax credit for certain electric bike purchases.

Individuals under $ 75,000 are eligible to receive up to $ 900 in credit. Co-filers who earn up to $ 150,000 are eligible for a tax credit of up to $ 900 for each of the two bicycles. Taxpayers who exceed these income levels will be phased out. Electric bicycles with stickers priced above $ 4,000 are not eligible for credit.

Electric bike credits have multiple champions in Congress, including parliamentarians. Jimmy Panetta, D-Calif. , Earlier this year Introduced a similar independent law To encourage the purchase of electric bicycles. Because electric bicycles are a low carbon transportation option, Can replace some car tripsEspecially short-distance people, Panetta and other supporters, say they are crucial to the US effort to combat climate change.

“I wanted to put it in [e-bikes] It’s right there on electric cars and electronic buses, which basically shows that this is a way to reduce carbon emissions in the transportation sector, “Panetta told CNBC in an interview.

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In 2019, transportation accounted for 29% of US greenhouse gas emissions. According to the Environmental Protection Agency.. This is the largest in any sector, with electricity generation and industrial activity checking in at 25% and 23%, respectively, second and third.

Mr. Panetta, the Democratic Party Infrastructure investment and employment lawIs already a law, and the Build Back Better Act, which funds Democratic social and spending priorities, helps accelerate the transition to more sustainable transportation. He said the tax credits for electric bicycles are “an important link in the chain of those efforts to do that.”

What is an electric bicycle?

Electric bicycles are often similar to traditional bicycles. The main difference, as the name implies, is that in addition to the user’s own pedaling, it has a battery-powered electric motor to move the bike forward.

In the 12 months from July 2020 to July 2021, sales of electric bicycles increased by 240% compared to the same period two years ago. According to market research firm NPD Group..

  • Some electric bikes, known as Class 1, have a motor that operates only when the rider is pedaling. When the bike reaches 20 mph, the motor will stop providing boosts.
  • The motor of a Class 2 electric bicycle can be used when the rider is not pedaling. However, like class 1 electric bicycles, the motor does not work at speeds above 20 mph.
  • The third type, called Class 3, also requires the user to step on the pedal, but its motor can support up to 28 mph before stopping providing support.
  • All three classes of electric bicycles are tax deductible if they meet the above criteria.

“The magic of e-bikes is really to get rid of the more painful edges of the bike,” he said. Chris CherryHe is a professor of civil engineering and environmental engineering at the University of Tennessee, studying sustainable transport. He is currently working on a study investigating the impact of electric bicycle incentives at the local government level.

“It’s easy to keep up with traffic. You can meet all your travel needs without jumping into a vigorous physical activity environment,” Cherry told CNBC in an interview. As a result, he said e-bikes are attractive to a wide range of people, including those who can’t afford to sweat when working on a traditional bike. He also said that it would make it easier to complete tasks such as going to a grocery store, picking up a child from day care, etc. by bicycle.

Encouragement of adoption

According to Cherry, electric bicycles do not remove all barriers to cycling, including the safety risks associated with riding on poor roads with bicycle infrastructure. But electric bikes “overcome some of them,” he said. “Once these barriers are overcome, people will begin to think about meeting more travel demand with electric bicycles, rather than the carbon-intensive options of gasoline-powered vehicles.”

Cherry said the shift is the key to maximizing the climatic benefits of using electric bicycles. Additional benefits of riding an electric bike, Including personal health.

“If you really care about emissions, that’s why you buy a bike — and I think that’s the main point of an e-bike. [tax credit] The Buildback Better Bill must do it in an alternative way to traveling by car. “

Electric bikes tend to be more expensive than traditional bikes of the same style, which is where advocates want incentives to be able to make a difference. Panetta and other supporters, such as lawmakers. Earl Blumenauer, D-Ore. We hope that the federal tax credit with income caps will ease potential barriers to adoption.

Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) Will speak at a press conference with the Green New Deal and ranchers in support of farm policy reforms in Washington on Wednesday, September 18, 2019.

Caroline Breman | CQ-Roll Call, Inc. Getty Images

“Some people need a little incentive to ride a bike. The fact that electric bikes are so convenient, easy and fun makes people more likely to ride a bike,” said Co-Chair Blumenauer. increase. Parliamentary Union.. “These people who earn less than $ 150,000 per household are just the people whose financial benefits are of paramount importance.”

Buildback Better Act after passing through the house, Right now Considered in the Senate, Where the Democratic Party has a very thin majority. It’s not clear if the tax credit for electric bikes could be the final version. Republicans, who oppose broader legislation, have criticized many of their price tags and various spending initiatives, including tax credits for electric bicycles.

“The government should not use taxpayer funds to subsidize the electric vehicle industry, whether it’s a car or a bicycle,” said a person in charge. Mike Kelley, R-Pa. Said in a statement emailed to CNBC.Kelly, a member of tax writing Method and Means CommitteeIs the co-chair of House Automotive Caucus..Hello Opposition for a long time EV tax credit.

“For now, this will only benefit the wealthy. This provision comes especially when electric bikes are struggling to gain popularity among the majority of Americans,” Kelly said. Continued. “Electric bikes are also significantly more expensive than traditional bikes, and ask hard-working taxpayers in my area to offer tax credits for these products when inflation and daily costs are rising. You can not.”

Impact on the industry

Mike RadenboSeattle-based RadPower Bikes founder and CEO told CNBC that federal tax credits could “significantly impact our business,” but said it has already grown significantly. He said. He said Rudd has had more than 350,000 customers since it was launched as a direct consumer business in 2015 and plans to add more than 100,000 riders in the second half of 2021 alone. rice field.

Even if the tax credit for an electric bike isn’t legal, Radenbaugh said that the fact that it’s included in the House bill proves that an electric bike is a “true mode of transportation.” rice field.

“Two-thirds of our customers use electric bikes instead of miles that they would otherwise drive,” says Radenbaugh.

“Our customers mainly use bicycles for mobility, practicality, taking families to school, unloading bicycles in day care, carrying cargo, delivering food and other commercial uses.” Radenbaugh said. “This tax credit is one of the first at the federal level where it is allowed, and electric bikes are not pure recreation. They are primarily transportation.”

Biden’s Buildback Better Bill May Offer Up to $ 900 Electric Bike Tax Credit

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