The Electric Bicycle Incentive Kickstart for the Environment (E-BIKE) Act is scheduled for introduction to Congress Feb. 11 and proposes financial incentives to encourage consumers to buy e-bikes in an effort to reduce carbon emissions.
The bill proposes a refundable tax rebate for 30% of a bike’s purchase price up to $1,500 and would be applicable to bike purchases up to $8,000. The tax credit could be claimed once per person every three years or twice for joint-return couples who purchase two e-bikes.
Although the bill promotes e-bikes for environmental reasons, it doesn’t discriminate between commuters and eMTBs. A “qualified electric bicycle” is a two-wheeled vehicle that has pedals, a seat, and an electric motor up to 750 watts that doesn’t provide assistance at speeds of more than 28 mph. (For reference, an e-bike motor producing more than 750 watts would be pretty sporty.)
The E-BIKE Act is led by Jimmy Panetta (D-CA) and Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) and echoes the tax incentives already in place for electric car purchases.
The bill has support from PeopleforBikes, the League of American Bicyclists, the California Bicycle Coalition, Bike Santa Cruz County, Bicycling Monterey, and several other environmental and recreational interest groups.
Congressman Panetta’s press release is available here.