Last week, the Senate Finance Committee approved a federal tax credit worth 10 percent of the price of electric bikes and motorcycles, up to a maximum of $2,500. If the bill passes, it would end an existing electric vehicle tax credit for golf carts that can't be taken on public highways, unlike electric bikes. The committee approved the amendment by a voice vote as part of a broader package of tax measures after a debate over whether e-bikes are worth it. Creating more U.S. jobs, and not losing them overseas, was cited as a reason for supporting it. E-bikes are very big in China – about 25 million of them were sold there last year, compared to less than 100,000 in the U.S.

Major car and motorcycle makers are considering entering the e-bike market in the U.S. As for now, three smaller companies have been selling bikes and bringing in investors: Brammo, BRD, and Zero Motorcycles. Last month, Brammo Inc. closed the first $13 million of a $45 million funding round, and has other financial backers.

Some analysts think federal tax credits are critical for building up sales volume and ramping up production volumes, bringing down retail prices long term. Plug-in passenger vehicles have a tax credit worth up to $7,500, depending on the size of the battery. The Chevy Volt can get a $7,500 credit, but the Toyota Prius Plug-in only earns $2,500.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 12 Comments
      george costanza
      • 2 Years Ago
      I agree with most below...having actual bike lanes and allowing them more places is the best stimulus of all...I go daily to 'green' store downtown and there isn't a SINGLE bike rack in sight anywhere....and really sh!tty roads and sidewalks with very few crosswalks. so in short not bike or pedestrian friendly. god forbid you are blind or disabled in this region. also I agree with below sentiment in that I read about new bikes and even specialized a popular bike brand sold in US has a new affordable ebike but it goes too fast to be sold in the US...apparently you can literally drive a tank in the US now but an ebike goes too fast to be allowed on roads as a bike as in over 25 mph. really messed up priorities. gas prices ramping back up due to ethanol boondoggle but god forbid people get in shape and ride bikes when they can and dont have to cross fingers every time they go outside or for a ride. how about every kid in the US you dont get to ride bus less than a mile from school unless you are disabled. get on a friggin' bike or walk...go online and find a cheap bike. kids here just LEAVE THEM around neighborhood when they dont want them. cops take em to bike store for parts...so no excuses.. only one comment below seems to not understand anything outside the US..go anywhere and see nothing BUT bikes and motorcycles and you can EASILY understand how so many are sold overseas and why so little investment in tiny US market for anything non SUV. bike stores are on every corner overseas and you get service for the entire LIFE of your bike for free most places. every corner auto mechanic also ALL offer free inflating of bike tires etc...just DIY. what is called 'liberal' in the US to be used in some derogatory fashion is just normal everyday life in most countries. US has very little actual quality of life by most measures. most in US don't even know it. in US ignorance is bliss. peace out.
      Ryan
      • 2 Years Ago
      Why don't we hear about the 25 million e-bikes sold in China? How big is the total market over there? How are they recharging them? How far can they travel?
        2 Wheeled Menace
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Ryan
        The total market is huge in China. There are huge trade shows dedicated entirely to electric bikes and electric bike part suppliers. How are they recharging them? any outlet capable of spitting out a few hundred watts will do. Many would charge them inside their apartments ( that's why the folding bike is more popular out there ) How far can they travel? conceivably, you could build one that goes for hundreds of miles, but most typically have a 15-30 mile range. Now if you are in China, which is extremely dense, 15 miles is a long distance to travel.. so if you build an ebike that could go 100 miles, a typical Chinese person would ask you what you're smoking :) but in America it could be that your job is 40-50 miles away.
          2 Wheeled Menace
          • 2 Years Ago
          @2 Wheeled Menace
          No, i'm describing urban China, where most Chinese live these days. Where you can see flocks of ebikes, pedal bikes, and scooter-things as far as the eye can see. Driving a car is a new thing to them, yes. But bikes are their cars out there. Makes all of America's efforts of increasing bike ridership look like a total joke. I'm not sure about hong kong. But i'm in frequent contact with a few ex-pats in China who tell me how it is.
          Marco Polo
          • 2 Years Ago
          @2 Wheeled Menace
          @ 2 Wheeled Menace I think you are describing Hong Kong ! The Peoples Republic of China is a vast country slightly larger than the continental USA. What's more accurate, is for 50 years the PRC rode bicycles as a principle method of transport. Owning and riding two-wheel transport, may no longer be prestigious in the new PRC, but it's still the main method of transport. Cars are very expensive, and parking even more so.( Few PRC cities tolerate street parking). E-bikes and Mopeds, are a natural, and economical improvement over the old, Bone Shaker 'Flying Pigeon' model, so beloved in the Mao era!
      george costanza
      • 2 Years Ago
      the best thing about many asian countries basically discussed in other forms below is practicality or usefulness of riding a bike to work school stores etc. it is important to have bike trails which actually go anywhere people need to go on a daily basis. in china and other places bike lanes go directly to high speed rail and railroad and bus stations with dedicated safe crosswalks in busy roads. US is the 'you're on your own' society and US is becoming more and more sh!t happens oh well kind of place. like motorcycles you need to have a critical mass. otherwise most drivers are oblivious. while many comment here, did anybody else actually contact congressman/woman and tell them to keep in bike trails etc in newest transportation bi!! which is constantly tar89eted for cuts by our current congress?
      goodoldgorr
      • 2 Years Ago
      25 million e-bike sold last year in china and less then 100 000 in u.s.a and no china made e-bike are sold in the u.s.a and now major automaker and motorcycle maker want to enter the u.s.a e-bike market. The logic say that china manufacturers do not need to invest a single cents more and have just to export a small portion of their production to the u.s.a to completly invade the u.s.a market. There is something weird in these numbers, it's probably exagerated to bring some subsidies. I don't believe that they sold 25 million e-bike in china and also they probably just sold a tousand e-bike in u.s.a and not near 100 000. I want a conter-article on that subject.
        goodoldgorr
        • 2 Years Ago
        @goodoldgorr
        Sorry i confused e-bike which are pedal bike with some sort of electric assist with e-motorcycle which are bigger and faster and do not have pedals. 25 million e-bike in china is then possible. Does these e-bikes from china are offered for sale in the u.s.a ?
      MTN RANGER
      • 2 Years Ago
      A 10% Federal tax credit sounds like a great idea for E-bikes & E-Motorcycles. Twenty percent would have been better, but it's a start.
      george costanza
      • 2 Years Ago
      in China there are annual bike shows and intl bike trade shows. there are also intl motorcycle shows. in US not so much. just nascar.
      2 Wheeled Menace
      • 2 Years Ago
      Hey, you know what would be a good stimulus for ebikes? preventing them from being banned on trails, bike paths, and roads in certain cities. Tadaa! by allowing them to be useful in more places, suddenly they are more valuable to the buyer. Up the speed limit to 25mph, making them even more useful. Then they can travel as fast as someone on a road bike! Suddenly you have a win win - you have allowed people more freedom, you've given people a better alternative to driving, and you won't spend a dime doing it. But that makes too much sense, and this is government we're talking about, so the rational thing that doesn't cost any money won't happen.
      2 Wheeled Menace
      • 2 Years Ago
      2 wheel things with high amounts of electric power sell themselves. If any of you are near Salt Lake City, UT ... you just let me know. I'm cookin' up something on a cargo bike frame in the next couple of months that should be dumping out a few hundred foot pounds from a stall. I've dubbed it the 'killabicycle' ;D