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 United States.

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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  • 30 Comments
      TsarBomba
      • 2 Years Ago
      How is this credit, our assumed tax dollars at work, any different than oil subsidies?? Both potentially spend some amount of public funds to keep them appealing and/or affordable to operate/purchase?
        • 2 Years Ago
        @TsarBomba
        [blocked]
          themanwithsauce
          • 2 Years Ago
          Extreme right isn't any better. Actually the political spectrum is more of a circle. Extreme right and left kinda overlap on their crazy.
          waetherman
          • 2 Years Ago
          I think you're underestimating the amount of subsidies that the oil and gas industry gets. Not only does the US taxpayer subsidize R&D for the oil industry to the tune of several billion a year, oil companies get billions of dollars in industry-specific tax breaks. And the oil companies get cheap use of federal lands for drilling too. Between the direct subsidies and tax breaks, the amount of money the US collects in royalty payments is just about the same amount it spends to support the industry.
          TsarBomba
          • 2 Years Ago
          And this amount is probably a tiny percentage of vehicle sales and profits? Not sure who the extreme left even is? As a general principle I try to stay moderate and open minded on most issues.
          • 2 Years Ago
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      Bassracerx
      • 2 Years Ago
      so somone buys something and i pay for part of it? dafuq? how about somone buy me some grocies in starving
      • 2 Years Ago
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      Abe
      • 2 Years Ago
      Wow, bunch of trolls showed up today to comment on the internet. Do you complain to your neighbor that has more kids than you and benefits from the public school they go to? After all, that family pays a disproportionate share of taxes for all those children to get an education. The people who choose to purchase electric vehicles still pay taxes that sponsor our wars in the middle east that ensure your gasoline powered vehicles can continue to be fed! Government involvement in the economy has encouraged responsible growth in technology where everybody benefits, not just those who capitalize on the opportunities the government has to offer. By providing some incentive to buy these bikes, an industry is growing therefore creating more jobs which in turn allows for more people to have money to spend (maybe they'll spend money at the company where you work!) and thus more taxes to be paid. :)
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Abe
        [blocked]
        johnbravo6
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Abe
        I'm not entirely sure if you even take yourself seriously, so I certainly won't.
      Nick Allain
      • 2 Years Ago
      I don't care what all you politically charged dirtbags have to say in the comments. That goes for both sides. Let me be the first to say, I've considered an electric bike and this might put over the edge. *I'm speaking as a consumer. My politics don't agree with tax credits but my wallet doesn't seem to mind.
      Harold O
      • 2 Years Ago
      If you want to buy an electric vehicle by all means do so BUT don't ask me to pay for it !! I'm tired of paying other people's bills .Let the makers develop systems that can compete in the real world . Lets NOT encourage more Solyndras. Work out the real numbers for the Volt and Cruze then you'll know why it's crazy to buy a Volt !
      Basil Exposition
      • 2 Years Ago
      Good. The government has so much extra money, it's about time they started giving it away!
      justgoawaymad
      • 2 Years Ago
      Please take note clowns......its a tax CREDIT not a rebate. VERY VERY different. Not worth any where near as much. Dont be fooled.
        ammca66564
        • 2 Years Ago
        @justgoawaymad
        No, a tax credit comes straight off the bottom line of your taxes. You get it dollar for dollar - so long as you have taxes to pay. A rebate is also dollar for dollar. The only difference is timing. Perhaps you're thinking of a tax deduction, which is not dollar for dollar. I'm glad our elected representatives have found another great use for tax dollars, given we have such a huge surplus of them floating about.
      • 2 Years Ago
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        Ducman69
        • 2 Years Ago
        I also just don't see the point. Most scooters and motorcycles are not primary vehicles for people, and achieve the average 15K miles a year of cars. Furthermore, scooters and most motorcycles short of hyperbikes already get excellent fuel economy for the few miles they are driven every year. The Honda Elite goes over 50mph, gets over 100mpg, and costs under three grand. This is perfectly fine and environmentally friendly for a "nice weather" occasional vehicle or to scoot around the block or run some errands.
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