More people on bikes has the potential to do a lot of good for congested cities and the environment. But how do you get those people on bikes? One answer is to improve cycling infrastructure to try and make it so it doesn’t feel like you’re risking your life just to ride. Another answer may be the future of the e-bike.

When it comes to actually using a bike for transportation and running errands, many would-be riders are turned off by intimidating hills, the perceived need for specialized clothing, and the increased time needed to pedal to your destination. E-bikes change all of that. Which is why many see e-bikes as a tool that could finally get the masses (or at least more people) going by bike.

That’s also why the Electric Bicycle Incentive Kickstart for the Environment (E-BIKE) Act was just introduced by House Representatives Jimmy Panetta (D-CA) and Earl Blumenauer (D-OR). E-bicycles are expensive, which can discourage someone from purchasing one if they’re just getting into riding. So the E-BIKE Act proposes a 30% tax credit, up to $1,500 on the purchase of an $8,000 bike. From the wording on the press release from PeopleForBikes, this credit would come in the form of a rebate when you file your taxes. Clearly, that won’t help people with limited means purchase an e-bike, but it’s a start. The credit “would be allowed once per individual every three years, or twice for a joint-return couple buying two electric bicycles.”

Currently, the E-BIKE Act has just been proposed as a bill. To help get it signed into law, PeopleForBikes is encouraging people to reach out to their local representatives to voice their support for the bill through a simple web form here.

peopleforbikes.org

22 COMMENTS

    • Correct !

      Why should just the “lazy buggers” get the money ???
      And – related to the other comment: This amount every three years would be insane! WTF?

      • I think ebikes are fine for commuting (just keep them off the trails), but I ride a more environmentally friendly mode of transportation to work almost every day. Where is my money Uncle Sam?

  1. This is a horrible idea!
    As cool as e-bikes are and as much as you might want one, we don’t have the money.
    The federal government has overspent this country into nearly $28 trillion of debt.
    And let’s not forget that much of the e-bikes components are build in Communist China, not the USA.

  2. The tax credit does not address the lack of infrastructure funding issue. In fact, this tax credit is using monies that could be used for infrastructure improvements. Not a fan….I hope it doesn’t pass.

  3. $1500 credit potential…EVERY THREE YEARS!!!???

    Why don’t they take the money and put it into a program that builds safer infrastructure so that people feel safe riding on the road and have better commuting options.

  4. Hey, if this tax credit bill motivates more people off of cars and onto bicycles then i fully support it! Of course i wish this tax credit applied to folks on regular pedal bikes as well, it’s just common sense if your goal is reducing greenhouse gas.

  5. At least the bike batteries are smaller and thus less of a massive pollutive toxic waste disaster than the stupid electric cars.

  6. eBikes are allot smaller and less energy and environmentally intensive than any car/scooter etc and take up ALLOT less space so that you can convert some of the existing infrastructure away from cars. This makes it cost effect in the infrastructure POV. This seems to be more pointed to get people to commune on ebikes instead of driving, which I completely support. This is not aimed at cyclist to get a nicer bike. For that matter, only a small people that bought a pedal only bike using this, would continue to use the bike for various reasons (as in too long, too much time in transit, need for a shower once arriving at work, etc.), and an ebike helps to mitigate these problems. It would be nice for all bikes, but bike companies are just going to raise their price to devour this credit if it passes. So a $5000 ebike will become $6500, and so on. There were some near 20% price increases on some ebikes LAST WEEK. Wonder why bike rumor never posts about that kind of news?

    • Honestly, there are so many products out there that it’s nearly impossible for us to report on price increases since it’s not something a brand is going to send out a press release about. But as for those recent price increases, you don’t think that that might just be a result of a huge increase in demand coupled with a huge decrease in supply as a result of the pandemic fueled bike boom?

    • Costs at every juncture of the bicycle manufacturing process are up. Aluminum and steel are up double digits. If you’re lucky enough to find a container you’re paying double to move it. Import tariffs stand around 25% in some cycling categories. Factories are at/beyond capacity and lead times are 200-400 days for products like brakes, saddles and other components. Pricing will continue to go up through this season and next. This isn’t rocket science and a pretty basic example of supply vs demand.

  7. Are Class 1/2/3 ebikes even in stock and in good supply?

    Just read an article covering a bicycling boom in Europe, google theverge city-bike-lanes-open-streets-ebike-sales-bicyclist-pedestrian

  8. Spare me the hogwash. Those import tariffs have been in place for some time now, and were used to justify their own big price increase. Not to mention some production has been shifted away from China, but not back to the US as so many claimed would happen. Tariffs are not a big factor in this price gouge. Shipping container is double,…. OK how many bikes are stuffed into that container? Answer=ALLOT! That cost is spread out over MANY bikes. Just like the old BS claim there is so much R&D, precision in bicycles etc, and the reality is the bike industry is horrendously sloppy in engineering and production. A great many things exponentially more complex, but still cost less and are more reliable.
    What the bike industry does seem to be really good at is marketing (made up crap to justify higher cost) and price gouging. Its 90% stiffer, 100% more compliant, 20% more efficient /aerodynamic at 40 kph blah blah blah. Fair price is one thing, gouging is another. Yes there is supply and demand, but has the price ever truly gone down on anything in the bike industry? What’s more, interestingly, you don’t refute that the bike companies will just raise their prices to get the credit and keep the original profit margin too. As for 200-400 days lead time, you made your own bed shifting everything overseas going for the absolute cheapest labor and no inventory with Just In Time delivery. You made your supply line extremely brittle and unable to respond to any disruption in the name of greed. Cry me a river. Much like other leisure activities have done, your bubble will eventually burst.

    • There were many tariff exclusions which expired at the end of 2020 and have reverted to all time highs. Sure there are bespoke US based builders, but John Q American isn’t ready to pay 2k plus for a frame and then have to hunt for parts that are mostly sold out. Most “regular ” consumers are looking for economical bicycles and a two fold increase in shipping will have significant impacts on 500-ish dollar bicycles that are packed 300 to container. This will translate to at least a 5% jump on its own with no end in sight. Thats just one example of the many economic pressures in the cycling industry. There aren’t many not-for-profit bicycle manufacturers and with the factories in the position of power, 100% deposits for bicycle orders that are not expected to ship for 6-18 months is not uncommon. I’m not sure I’d call that greed, it’s business. Margins must be maintained in order to maintain profitability and longevity, otherwise there simply wouldn’t be anyone making/selling/shipping bicycles. I don’t recall many/any “Bicycle CEO” signing 250 million dollar contracts or flying around in private jets. There’s an old joke: If you want to turn a large fortune into a small one, start a bicycle business. In the end there are many factors contributing to these price increases and all of it translates to higher costs for everyone involved with two wheels.

      BTW no “bike company will just raise their prices to get the credit…” The information age has insured transparency and fierce competition. If you offer a product that has an artificially inflated price in order to cash in on this hypothetical credit, someone else will just offer better value and you won’t be around long enough to enjoy that supposed extra margin. The internet is inherently a great system of checks and balances.

      If you want a new bike in the next year or two, get in line, save your pennies and hope for the best.

      Lastly, cycling can be, and is far more than just a leisure activity and e-bicycles are proving that. They can be a viable, less expensive alternative to more traditional forms of transportation with a much smaller carbon footprint. After all, thats what this proposed tax rebate is all about and this isn’t tennis or golf…

  9. Oh WOW, there is a yarn about how to lose money in the bike industry. How could have even been so wrong. Sarcasm off. So now it’s 300 bikes to a container, while earlier you implied it was paid for with one bike. Will the bike industry raise prices to try to take advantage of this. DAMN RIGHT THEY WILL! Just like the drug companies don’t inflate their prices as much as possible. Will do it all at once, no, but you can be sure they will do it. There is no transparency in the bike industry at all. Only smoke and mirrors. One raises their prices and they all follow suit so that everyone (bike companies) profit, and consumer has no choice. It’s cooperative, maybe not explicit, but definitely cooperative. Just like happened with American car companies in the 70’s until the Japanese ate their lunch. If bike companies were as poor as they claimed Groupe Bruxelles Lambert would not be buying Canyon. Investment funds don’t make these kind of purchases unless they expect to seriously profit from it.

    Any problems the bike industry has has been entirely self-inflected. Your bubble will burst just like it did for US automakers. Likely one or more of the south east Asian brands will eventually build enough positive reputation that the industry scare tactics will completely fail, and the burst will be in full effect. Just like the Japanese did to the auto industry.

    • You only missed one part of your point. Any MFG of any item (physical or intellectual) has every right to price it as they see fit. Be it a Yugo (from the past), an S-Works or a medication….the price is set by the MFG (or at least it should be). If YOU can not afford it, well, not their or my problem. The rest of your context is spot on.

    • Setting any price is not gouging or manipulating. See, you and I simply have the option to not purchase the product that we do not care for the price of. Is my S-Works worth the price to me? Certainly, or I would not pay it. Is it worth the price to you or another? Not my issue. That is the wonderful thing about a society that is based on Capitalism, products that are not a value for the money simply do not sell and go to the wayside. Gloom and doom of the media in the US trying to portray a companies profit as a bad thing is simply simple minded and delusional.

      As to eBikes…I LOVE them. I do not own one and do not foresee one in my immediate future. But, for those who want to spend $5k+ at my LBS and enjoy the trails? Heck, that is win-win for everyone involved.

  10. As for my personal financial circumstances is irrelevant to the topic. Though the fact that I’m here on Bike Rumor suggests that I am well immersed, and since this article was about ebikes, and know something about the shipping, and investment funds, that should tell you something else. As for the comment that MFG has to the right to set any price they like, that was in fact covered in my comments. Just because they can set them does not mean they aren’t gouging and manipulating. The cooperative aspect is problem. It’s not a competitive market. It is a manipulated market with cooperation among many companies to harm the end consumer.

    The burst bubble is coming with bike industry carnage to follow.

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