E-bikes, as it turns out, are a great way to get around. Electric motorcycles, when they aren’t forcing you to buy software upgrades, can be equally fantastic. Those benefits come at a cost, however, with electric components driving MSRPs far above the gas or pedal-powered competition. Luckily for prospective buyers, Congress is here to help.
The Build Back Better Act, currently making its way through Congress, has spent months in edits and revisions. As of Friday, November 19, a version of the bill has finally passed the House, and it’s got a treat for two-wheeled EV enthusiasts: A 30% tax credit for e-bikes and electric motorcycles.
The credit tops out at $900 for e-bikes, and $7,500 for electric motorcycles. At that 30% rate, that means you’ll be spending $3,000 on an e-bike to see the full potential of the credit — though no more than $4,000, the value at which the credit disappears. For motorcycles, getting the full $7,500 back means spending $25,000 on your new ride.
The credits are fully refundable, meaning you don’t need to owe $7,500 in taxes to get $7,500 in returns, but they’re limited by income — the credit starts to phase out once you earn above $75,000 per year. Those two stipulations point to a credit specifically designed to make EVs accessible to lower-income people, an admirable endeavor for Congress to undertake.
Of course, whether Congress actually approves the bill is yet to be seen. Friday saw the bill pass the House, but those credits now need to survive the Senate before making their way to the President’s desk. If they become law, it could be a major boon for the e-bike and electric motorcycle-curious — and for those of us considering duct taping washing machine motors to Craigslist road bikes, it could be a much more practical route to electric commuting.
Update Monday, Nov. 22, 5:27 p.m. ET: A previous version of this article used numbers from a now out-of-date version of the Build Back Better Act. The amounts for the e-bike tax credit have been updated to those in the version of the bill that passed the House: A $900 maximum tax credit, and a maximum purchase price of $4,000. We regret the error.