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.