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The E-BIKE Act - Updates on The Key to Sustainable Commutes in the US

Posted by Yina Liu on
The E-BIKE Act - Updates on The Key to Sustainable Commutes in the US

A while back, we dove into the details of the E-BIKE Act in an Espin Electric Bikes blog, since then many have been asking what the latest updates are - but first, a recap-

Catching up on the EBIKE Act

Lobbied by Congressman Jimmy Panetta (D-Carmel Valley) and Congressional Bike Caucus Chairman Earl Blumenauer (OR-03), the Electric Bicycle Incentive Kickstart for the Environment (E-BIKE) Act ushers in a new age of development. With this act, Americans are encouraged to use electric bicycles or e-bikes, through a consumer tax credit, which makes the idea of sustainable travel much more accessible and available.

With the E-BIKE Act, legislators hope to replace vehicle trips and commutes and reduce carbon emissions, thanks to the distance, speed, and ease by which e-bikes can travel. Considering that this government initiative is only at the beginning of its implementation, you’re probably wondering what these latest updates mean for the future of your commutes!

To help get you up to speed on what the future for sustainable travel will look like, here’s a crash course on everything you need to know about the act in further detail:

What this new act is built on

As the introduction of the E-BIKE Act continues to make waves in terms of encouraging the use of electric bicycles and reducing carbon emissions, you’re likely wondering what makes it potentially impactful. To best understand what the legislation can build on, it’s important that we look at current studies that back up key components of the act.

In terms of statistics, a recent study found that if 15 percent of car trips were made by an e-bike, carbon emissions would drop by 12 percent—a large figure with much potential to change the way life works on American soil. Additionally, this recent North American survey shows that the act will further elevate the impact of a push to sustainable commuting since 46 percent of e-bike commute trips have replaced automobile commutes.

How would it work?

With all this talk about e-bikes and sustainable travel, you might be wondering about how the E-BIKE Act works so that you can make the most out of it.

In terms of functionality, the act in question revolves around the distribution or provision of a set of benefits that establishes various available benefits for Americans. Essentially, this piece of legislation creates a consumer tax credit that:

  • Covers 30 percent of the cost of an electric bicycle that one will choose to purchase (which extends up to a $1,500 credit)
  • Applies to new electric bicycles that cost less than $8,000
  • Is fully refundable, which allows lower-income workers to claim the credit as well


What are the experts saying?

Ever since the E-BIKE Act was passed by the key figures mentioned above, many experts and important individuals have been quick to chime in with their sentiments.

PeopleForBikes CEO Jenn Dice, for instance, backs the push for widespread commute sustainability, saying: “Incentivizing electric bicycles makes them a competitive transportation option for more Americans and supports a national effort to lower carbon emissions.” Additionally, Dice expresses her support since “the E-BIKE Act positions electric bicycles as a critical part of a larger solution to climate change and equitable mobility. We’re grateful to Congressman Panetta for leading the charge in Congress.”

For League of American Bicyclists Bill Nesper, the act is poised to encourage biking, saying that “The League knows life is better for everyone when more people ride bikes, and we know e-bikes make biking a more accessible and easier option for more Americans." Further emphasizing the positive transformation of the act in question, he states: “We're encouraged by congressional leadership on the E-BIKE Act, a bill that, if passed, will enable Americans to fight climate change and improve public health through the simple act of bicycling."

The Latest Updates

While the EBike Act was introduced back in early February, the road to law is long and arduous. 
Blumenauer himself has introduced 38 bike-related bills while on Capital Hill and has gotten several key wins, but not all the bills have passed. 
Due to its standalone nature, many believe the EBIKE Act should be folded into a larger legislative package, such as the infrastructure package which was unveiled by the Biden Administration in late March of this year. 
Another difficult part of this bill is the $8K purchase ceiling for prices. Opponents for the bill have been recycling comments previous reserved for use against the many electric car incentives such as owning one is only for rich liberals, with many equating it to a Tesla. Another argument is that the tax credit incentive means no one actually wants an electric bike. 
The act currently has 10 co-sponsors, all Democrats, but will need more support if it hopes to continue to move forward. 
What you can do to help
Contact your local Representative and let them know you want them to support this bill. 
Conculsion
 

While the past year has been quite tumultuous for America because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the recent E-BIKE Act bears a hopeful upturn that poses the potential to revolutionize the way we commute. Through this act's help, a more sustainable, healthier, and more enjoyable way of getting around is now within reach!

At Espin Bikes, we take pride in providing the best affordable electric bikes in the United States. They are perfect options to consider if you're looking to jump on the opportunities that the recently-passed E-BIKE Act provides. Check out our online store and place your order ASAP so that you can get to a future of sustainable commuting in no time!

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