US lawmakers reintroduce e-bike tax credit bill offering up to a $1,500 refund


(WASHINGTON) — Federal lawmakers have reintroduced a bill that would give consumers a tax break on the purchase of a new electric bike.

The Electric Bicycle Incentive Kickstart for the Environment (E-BIKE) Act would offer a refundable tax credit amounting to 30% of the e-bike’s price, capped at $1,500.

New e-bikes that cost less than $8,000 would be eligible for the refund — up from what was initially $4,000 in President Joe Biden’s original Build Back Better proposal.

The new bill also doubles the income limits to receive the maximum credit — up to $150,000 for a single filer and $300,000 for joint filers — to match the electric car credits in the Inflation Reduction Act.

California Rep. Jimmy Panetta — who reintroduced the bill on Tuesday along with California Reps. Mike Thompson and Adam Schiff and Oregon Rep. Earl Blumenauer, the Congressional Bike Caucus chairman — called the bill a “commonsense way to encourage” e-bike ownership, particularly for low-income earners looking to reduce their carbon footprint.

“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,” Panetta said in a statement.

The e-bike tax credit was ultimately eliminated from the Build Back Better Act and was left out of the Inflation Reduction Act.

In reintroducing the bill, Panetta’s office pointed to the success of an e-bike rebate program implemented in Denver last year that issued more than 4,700 e-bike rebates.

“Transitioning to a clean energy economy includes changing the way we get around,” Hawaii Sen. Brian Schatz, chairman of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development who has introduced companion legislation in the Senate, said in a statement. “Our bill will make it more affordable for working people to buy an e-bike and help get cars off the road.”

Amid concerns over e-bike safety — in particular low-quality bikes equipped with shoddy, potentially dangerous and explosive batteries — the reintroduced E-Bike Act also includes language to help address battery hazards. The proposed bill defines eligible e-bikes as ones that meet battery safety standards set by Underwriters Laboratory, an industry leader in battery technology, or that “may be recognized by the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission.”

Copyright © 2023, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.