The Reporter (Vacaville)
Thompson reintroduces E-BIKE Act
This week, U.S. Representatives Mike Thompson (D-St. Helena) and others reintroduced the Electric Bicycle Incentive Kickstart for the Environment (E-BIKE) Act to encourage the use of electric bicycles, or e-bikes, through a consumer tax credit.
The incentive was also reintroduced by Jimmy Panetta (D-Carmel Valley), Congressional Bike Caucus Chairman Earl Blumenauer (D-Oregon) and Adam Schiff (D-Burbank). Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) has introduced companion legislation in the Senate.
E-bike use is on the rise throughout the country to reduce vehicle trips, commute times and carbon emissions. According to a news release by Thompson, it's estimated that half of all trips in the U.S. are less than three miles, and nearly 60 percent of vehicle trips are less than 6 miles away from drivers' homes.
“Cycling is more than a hobby, it is an alternative method of transit that reduces emissions and helps us address the climate crisis,” said Thompson in a news release.
“Electric bike use is on the rise but e-bikes remain a financial hurdle that many cannot afford. The E-BIKE Act will make it easier for more Americans to purchase electric bikes and help us reduce emissions and improve the quality of life of our communities.”
Panetta agreed. “Many people are looking to get out of their cars and get on to e-bikes not just for recreation, but also for transportation purposes,” said Panetta.
“Although we're seeing more people on them in our communities, more needs to be done to ensure that everybody across our country has access to an e-bike. With its fully refundable tax incentives for those in the lower economic levels, the E-BIKE Act is a commonsense way to encourage the ownership of e-bikes. By incentivizing Americans to own and use e-bikes, we are allowing them the chance to help improve the quality of life in our communities and tackle the climate crisis in our country.”
The E-BIKE Act consumer tax credit:
• Covers 30 percent of the cost of the electric bicycle, up to a $1,500 credit
• Applies to new electric bicycles that cost less than $8,000
• Is fully refundable, allowing lower-income workers to claim the credit
In 2022, Denver implemented an e-bike rebate program. By the end of the year, more than 4,700 e-bike rebates were issued with nearly half going to low-income residents. In a survey, 71 percent of those who rode e-bikes said it helped them cut down on their car usage.
The program was estimated to have cut 2,040 metric tons of carbon dioxide in 2022 and saved nearly $1 million in avoided fuel and electricity costs, according to the Rocky Mountain Institute.