What the Proposed E-BIKE Act Tax Credit Means for Cargo Bikes

What the Proposed E-BIKE Act Tax Credit Means for Cargo Bikes

I started Bunch Bikes because I wanted to make cargo biking more accessible to families in the US

We got a taste of the family bike life when my wife and kids and I took a trip to Sweden in 2016, and that’s what inspired me to bring that active, fun-filled, sustainable lifestyle home to my own community.

We’ve made huge strides since then in creating an electric family bike that’s designed for American families, makes sense for American road conditions, and ships from right here in Texas.

And we’ve fought to keep our prices as affordable as possible - our bikes cost around 1/10 of what you’d spend on a minivan and you’ll spend less than $5/year to keep them charged! Can’t beat that gas mileage (: 

But for a lot of families there’s still a sticker shock when they realize what an electric cargo bike is going to cost. If they’re new to the bike life, maybe new to even considering a family bike, well - it costs a lot more than a ten-speed Huffy!

I think this is especially true for early adopters - folks who are the first in their town or their neighborhood to start getting around by bike. It’s different if you live in Washington, DC or Santa Monica and you see lots of other families getting around on these bikes, so you know for sure it’s a practical choice. 

If you’re in somewhere like Denton, TX it’s a lot more of a leap of faith. Maybe you’re trying to convince your partner to give it a try. Then the price can be a big obstacle. 

That’s why we love to see ebike rebate programs taking root.

A couple of forward thinking cities and states have gone this route already, and the results really speak for themselves - a survey following up on the wildly popular Denver ebike rebates found that users were averaging 26 miles per week and replacing 3.4 car trips. 

Nearly 30% of those respondents indicated that they were new bike riders - in other words, the rebate prompted them to try something that wasn’t previously an option for their families. 

Now we’re thrilled to see The E-Bike Act, a federal ebike rebate program, is back on the table.

This program would open the door to families across the US to give family biking a try - not just those in “bike friendly” places like Denver. 

The federal government is already offering huge incentives for folks to buy electric cars - but as NPR recently reported, an electric bike is both drastically more affordable and a better choice for sustainability. Offering a credit or rebate to ebike buyers just makes sense!

So, what’s happening now?

The Electric Bicycle Incentive Kickstart for the Environment (E-BIKE) Act (S.881) was introduced to the U.S. Senate on March 21, 2023.

This bill aims to provide federal tax credits for consumers who purchase e-bikes, including electric cargo bikes. 

Details of the E-BIKE Act: Cargo Bike Eligibility and Tax Credit Details 

The E-BIKE Act grants a federal tax credit for consumers buying e-bikes, including cargo bikes. Here are the key details:

  1. Amount of Tax Credit: The tax credit is equal to 30% of the cost of each qualified electric bicycle, with a maximum total credit of $1,500.
  2. Maximum Retail Price: The E-BIKE Act allows for e-bikes with a retail price of up to $8,000 to qualify, making it inclusive of most cargo bikes, which typically have higher prices than standard electric bikes.
  3. Household Income Levels: The tax credit is available to households with a modified adjusted gross income below $150,000 for single filers and $300,000 for joint filers. 
  4. Number of Bikes: A taxpayer can claim a tax credit for up to one bike (two bikes in the case of a joint return) within a three-year period.

    It’s More Inclusive of Electric Cargo Bikes than the E-BIKE Act of 2021  

    A previous version of the E-BIKE Act was proposed 2021, then became a part of the Build Back Better Legislation, and ultimately was left on the cutting room floor when a portion of the BBB was passed into law as the Inflation Reduction Act. 

    The new E-BIKE act is an improvement over the original as it’s more inclusive of electric cargo bikes, which are more practical for replacing car trips than their non-electric cousins and have a greater impact in reducing traffic and emissions. High capacity cargo bikes like ours make it possible for families to replace one of their cars. 

    The previous bill limited eligibility to bikes under a $4,000 retail price point, which excluded most decent-quality family bikes. 

    By increasing the maximum eligible retail price to $8,000, the new E-BIKE Act is inclusive of Bunch Bikes and other cargo bikes on the market that are of a high enough quality to be a practical vehicle replacement for families.

    Additionally, the new E-BIKE Act specifically mentions that both 2- and 3-wheeled electric bikes eligible for the tax credit, meaning front-load cargo trikes are unambiguously included this time around. The language that was previously proposed seemed to limit eligibility to 2-wheeled bicycles only.

    What You Can Do: How You Can Advocate for the E-BIKE Act and Stay Informed

    You can support the E-BIKE Act and its potential benefits for cargo bikes and the environment, by contacting your local representative to express your support for the bill. People For Bikes has a simple template on how to do so here.  

    You can read the full text of the E-BIKE Act here, and track the progress of the E-BIKE bill in congress at here.

    We’re excited to see more families get rolling!

    Reading next

    The Community Bike Event Toolkit
    Photo collage of baby, toddler, and dog in Bunch Bike

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